Producer Lisa Saltzman has acquired feature film rights to Mark Bego’s upcoming biography, “Joe Cocker: With a Lot of Help from His Friends,” which chronicles the life and career of the blues-rock star.
The book will be published by Yorkshire Publishing on Nov. 16. It is the first biography written about Cocker since his death in 2014. The British singer’s distinctive, raspy voice made him a chart-topper. His biggest hits include his cover of The Beatles’ “With a Little Help from My Friends” (later heard on the opening credits of “The Wonder Years”) as well as his version of Traffic’s “Feeling’ Alright?” (memorably performed with John Belushi on “Saturday Night Live”). Cocker’s “Up Where We Belong,” a duet with Jennifer Warnes, was featured in “An Officer and a Gentleman.” It later earned him a Grammy Award in 1983 and was his best-selling song. Cocker released a total of 22 studio albums in a career that lasted over 40 years.
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“Joe Cocker’s story is one of ambition, talent, attainment, debilitating self-esteem, self-destruction, redemption, and finally joy, set in the most exciting and colorful era of popular music. Joe was a unique talent,” said Saltzman. “As a singer, Cocker’s gritty bluesy rock voice and distinctive performances rendered him a true original. He lived a bigger-than-life existence, and the film ‘Joe Cocker: With A Little Help From My Friends’ will show the high points, the low points, the frustrations, crippling battles with his demons, and finally the exhilaration of a life successfully lived.”
Saltzman is set to produce Elaine McMillion’s forthcoming feature about Mary Harris Jones, “Mother Jones.” She also recently purchased the feature film and television rights to Katherine Elilson’s biography, “Imelda: Steel Butterfly of the Philippines,” as well as the feature film rights to Steven Kaminsky’s best selling biography “Anything Is Possible: The Jack LaLane Story.” Saltzman was an executive producer of “Deception Road” starring Thomas Hayden Church.
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