A sad and mysterious death... -- A rock star gets beaten up... -- A singer unlike any other...

Cover of Joe's second studio album, Nov. 1969. (Courtesy of A&M Records)
Cover of Joe Cocker's second studio album, Nov. 1969. (Courtesy of A&M Records)

5/20/1960 (60 years ago today) - Singer Rudy Lewis of The Drifters died aged 27 under mysterious circumstances the night before the group was set to record what became one of their best loved songs, "Under The Boardwalk" -- Rudy had been hired to replace the group's former lead vocalist Ben E. King; that's Rudy's lead vocals you hear on The Drifters' all time classics "Up On The Roof", "On Broadway", "Some Kind Of Wonderful" and "Vaya Con Dios" -- According to the liner notes of The Drifters box set, 1996's "Rockin' & Driftin'", Rudy was a closeted homosexual who suffered from a binge eating disorder as well as flirting with heroin. He was found dead, alone in his Harlem hotel on May 21, 1964; no autopsy was ever performed.

5/20/1969 (51 years ago today) - While watching his beloved Cubs playing a baseball game at L.A.'s Dodger stadium, Chicago bassist-singer-songwriter Peter Cetera was set upon by four Marines who didn't approve of the length of his hair -- Cetera's jaw gets broken and he spends the next two days in intensive care

5/20/1944 - Born on this date, John Robert "Joe" Cocker, whose cover of The Beatles' "With A Little Help From My Friends" at Woodstock became one of the era's most definitive live performances and helped establish Joe's rock star status: the gritty and distinctive voice, the spasmodic body movements, the ability to turn other artists' compositions into his own unique brand of super-nova soul. "Mad Dogs And Englishmen" (1970) featuring Leon Russell (and most of what would become Derek & The Dominoes) is a truly fantastic live record, one of the best in all of rock -- Joe passed away after battling cancer at his home in Crawford, Colorado; he was 70 years old.

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"At night the stars put on a show for free...", xoxo!

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