Doug Parkinson Honours Joe Cocker
The Sensational and Definitive Joe Cocker Story


Australia's greatest soul voice Doug Parkinson presents the ultimate tribute to Joe Cocker.

A night of soul and rock classics, the electric current runs high, generated from the very talented 8 piece band and of course the powerful and unique voice of Doug Parkinson.

Joe Cocker was an irresistible force that combined a love of American soul music with standout interpretations and depth of feeling, terms often used to describe the soulful smoky voice of Australian singing legend Doug Parkinson.

Cocker is most famous for what he did with other people’s songs Hitchcock Railway, Delta Lady, You Can Leave Your Hat On, She Came in through the Bathroom Window, The Letter, You Are So Beautiful, Up Where We Belong and Cry Me A River.

Just a few of the songs Doug Parkinson has included in this new show that rolls along and leaves the audience spellbound.

Cocker chose well. He had hit records with songs from the Beatles, Ray Charles, Billy Preston, the Animals and Traffic among others - and then he magically reworked them.

Add in his famous gritty vocals and Cocker’s interpretations often surpassed the celebrated originals.

There couldn't be a more appropriate singer in Australia to showcase the ultimate tribute to Joe Cocker than the gravelly soulful voice of Australian singing legend Doug Parkinson, often described as exciting and impassioned and also a master of interpreting others’ songs.

Parkinson is not only an entertainer but an amazing vocalist. One example that brings the house down night after night is the huge hit for Doug, and probably the best version to date; the Beatles’ Dear Prudence.

Hard to believe it gets much better than this, and yet it does! Doug is also a multi award winning artist of soul and rock and box office hit musicals.

A highlight of Doug Parkinson's show includes his own hit records, this includes the masterful and iconic hit record Dear Prudence, and his very own interpretations of other legendary artists Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Michael McDonald, the Beatles and The Great American Song Book, just to name a few.

Doug Parkinson's band comprises some of Australia's most admired musicians, a crack rhythm section of the finest.

If you love Joe Cocker’s voice and songs you will not want to miss this ultimate tribute.


Captivating and electrifying are just two words to describe the unmistakable voice of Australian rock and soul legend Doug Parkinson.

The multi-award winning performer has become part of the soundtrack of our lives during a fifty year career.

When working as a cadet journalist at Sydney’s Daily Telegraph, Doug struck up a friendship with sports writer Jeff Collerson whose passions included greyhound racing, fine wine and a love of black American music. He was invited to Collerson’s home and upon listening to his extensive and meticulously catalogued collection, it became a defining moment in Doug’s life.

He had never heard music such as this before and at that very moment he knew journalism was not for him and that music would become the essential meaning in his life and shape his future.

Parkinson’s first band Strings and Things, formed with the children of legendary test cricketer Sid Barnes, made a minor impact around Sydney in 1966.

By 1967 however he had teamed up with some of Sydney’s best musical minds to form The Questions and began exploring the outer regions of psychedelic rock. Their first recordings established them as one of the more innovative and interesting acts in a rapidly evolving scene.

In 1967 the band supported The Who and Small Faces tour nationally and were placed second in the finals of the prestigious Hoadley’s Battle of the Sounds. This led to appearances in Melbourne and this is where the story really begins. A year later he formed Doug Parkinson in Focus which was the musician’s musicians outfit of the time. The band would later prove to be a benchmark in Australian rock folklore.

With this group he recorded the Beatles’ ‘Dear Prudence’ in 1969 and it topped the charts. Parkinson re-interpreted this masterpiece and made it his own. This song became a cult recording for Parkinson and his band. He followed it up with another spectacular chart topper ‘Without You’.

The same year they won Hoadley’s Battle of the Sounds and played to sell out shows around the country.

In Focus recorded a third single ‘Baby Blue Eyes’ which immediately entered the charts but the single died soon after, a casualty of the notorious Record Ban which denied Australian artists airplay.

After a two year hard slog with no prospects of recording Doug Parkinson made a major decision and went solo. In 1973 Doug took on his first major stage role in the concert production of The Who’s rock opera Tommy. He recorded an album ‘No Regrets’. He was involved in a media storm over a political commercial. More touring, this time as a solo performer. A lonely existence. But other roles beckoned.

1975-1976 he appeared in two shows Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band and Ned Kelly. A steady stream of music and theatre followed.

He collaborated and recorded two tracks for the cult film Stone and had another top ten hit with ‘Everlasting Love’.

He teamed up again with old friend Duncan McGuire to form the Southern Star Band. Once again it was a band made in heaven. The group included guitar whiz Tommy Emmanuel, drum prodigy Mark Kennedy and pianist Frank Esler‚Smith. They recorded the album ‘I’ll Be Around’ which produced two top 10 hits ‘The Hungry Years’ and ‘I’ll Be Around’.

The following year they supported Bob Marley and the Wailers on what was to be the legendary singer’s last tour.

In 1981 he recorded a solo album ‘Heartbeat to Heartbeat’ which produced another top 10 hit ‘The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore’ with vocalist Broderick Smith.

The early 80’s saw Parkinson star in the role of Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar. The production toured Australia for 12 months to rave reviews before final performances in Singapore and Hong Kong.

His distinctive voice was also in demand in the advertising world. He recorded packages for Coke (which won an international award), BHP, Toyota, Carlton United Breweries, Sanyo, Philips and a host of other corporate giants. He was the voice on packages for radio stations 2SM, 3AK, 3UZ, 5AD, 4MMM, 6PM and the 0-10 television network. He has recorded theme songs for several Rugby League Football Clubs.

During this extraordinary career Doug has appeared alongside many international stars including The Who, The Small Faces, Paul Jones, The Four Tops, The Temptations, The Pointer Sisters, Thelma Huston, Bob Marley and The Wailers, and Randy Crawford just to mention a few.

He has appeared alongside and dueted with so many fine Australian artists that the list is too long to appear here.

During the late eighties and early nineties his theatre credits continued. Pap Finn in the lavish hit musical Big River and The Big Bopper in the smash hit musical Buddy The Musical. The show becomes the box office phenomenon of its time and Doug’s rendition of ‘Chantilly Lace’ evolved into a showstopper.

During this period he somehow found the time to appear as the Barrister in Mike Batt’s musical The Hunting of the Snark.

More theatre roles followed. Grease The Arena Spectacular, Happy Days and a personal favorite as the Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of Oz.

Doug recorded several albums after his run of theatre shows and is currently working on an autobiography.

He also has several recording projects on the boil and hopes to release the new material in the coming year.

After the passing of rock legend Joe Cocker in 2014, Doug (together with an eight piece band of some of Australia’s finest musicians and singers) created the definitive musical salute to this unique performer’s musical legacy.

The show has met with critical acclaim and is enjoying sell out success in the more prestigious venues around Australia.

The Melbourne Herald Sun has labeled Parkinson “Australia’s greatest singer” and The Australian newspaper has described him as “a rolled gold superstar.”

Tour Dates & Venue

Saturday 27th July, 2019
Civic Theatre, Wagga Wagga NSW
Bookings: (02) 6926 9688
Saturday 21st September, 2019
Ettalong Diggers Club NSW
Bookings: (02) 4343 0111
Saturday 23rd November, 2019
City Recital Hall, Sydney NSW
Bookings: (02) 8256 2222
Thursday 5th December, 2019
Southern Cross Club, Canberra ACT
Bookings: (02) 6283 7200
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