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Following a battle with cancer, singer Joe Cocker passed away this week at the age of 70. He’ll be remembered by his legion of fans for a wide variety of epic performances and hit songs. To the general public, however, he’ll always be remembered for singing the theme song (“With A Little Help From My Friends”) over the opening credits for one of the greatest shows in the history of network television: The Wonder Years. Relive the greatness below…





The key with The Wonder Years was how well everything flowed together. Between Daniel Stern’s touching, influential narration, the costumes, the language, the brilliant acting and Joe Cocker’s tonally perfect theme song, it all just worked. It transported the viewer to a time and place that was simpler, in some ways, but also incredibly familiar. The world was changing in 1968, and while many family units looked a little different and the pace of life was slower, the consequences were every bit as real. The characters didn’t consider their lives cute or old-fashioned. They were living in the moment, and that’s all they knew.

The show treated childhood the same way as the time period too. Just because Kevin and Paul and Winnie weren’t adults didn’t mean their feelings weren’t intense. First kisses and mean teachers were what they knew, and the show never looked down on that. It let them try their hand at life, without mocking or belittling.
What would you think if sang out of tune,
Would you stand up and walk out on me ?
Lend me your ears and I'll sing you a song
And I'll try not to sing out of key.

Oh, I get by with a little help from my friends
Mm, I get high with a little help from my friends
Mm, gonna try with a little help from my friends

Joe Cocker never had enough hits to turn himself into one of his generation’s biggest stars, but he had enough to guarantee himself a lasting career, a permanent place on radio and a nice little following. In fact, he toured for basically the rest of his life and generated three songs that still get tons of airplay, the aforementioned “With A Little Help From My Friends”, “You Are So Beautiful” and “Up Where We Belong”. He also inspired one of John Belushi’s greatest impressions too.



We’ll miss you, Joe Cocker. Thanks for all the memories.
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