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I remember this recording session so vividly. When the producer called me to work with Joe Cocker I was thrilled. I had heard some of Joe’s previous records and I really loved his earthy sound. I met with Denny Cordell and Joe at A & M Records to discuss the session. We had a brief but productive creative meeting. After the meeting Joe and I walked across the street for a burger and we talked about the song. I told him I was hearing something in my brain, but I was not quite sure what it was yet. I went home really excited about doing the session. I asked for Paul Humphrey on drums, and Carole Kaye on bass. I knew that they would add the feel I was looking for. I also asked for a good conga player to add the “musical glue” to it.
When we got to the studio and we started to play, all the pieces fit so perfectly. Paul and Carole added just the right groove as I knew they would. I had been walking around with the piano figure in my mind for days and I could not wait to play it. I knew it would work. I counted it off and started to play the piano and it just happened. It was one of those great moments when musicians get together and everything just clicked. The magic was all over the studio that night. You could feel it in the room. While listening to a playback I looked around at Paul and Carole and everyone else. We all had big smiles on our faces. We just knew we were on to something.
I can’t tell you how many hundreds of letters, phone calls and e-mails I’ve received through the years from all over the world about this record. People wanting to know if I was young, old, white, black, beige, orange, turquoise or whatever. I even included the piano figure in a piano book I wrote. I remember being told it was also published in Braille. It was truly a very special recording date. Who knew when we did it, it would turn out to be a classic. That’s the whole thing in a nutshell right there. When we made records, we just made them for the moment. They felt right at the time we were making them. When I hear it today I start tapping my foot and recall the fun and spontaneity of that night.
I am often asked what my favorite project was that I ever worked on. There have been a few favorites, not just one. However “FEELIN’ ALRIGHT” is real high on the list. The interesting thing about it is that it never sounds old to me. Sometimes you make a record and six months later it sounds dated. This record stood the test of time. I made it in 1969, and today after all these years it still sounds funky to me. It makes me want to get up and dance, which believe you me is a sight you don’t want to see.