Happy to sing an ode to Joe

Emily AceSouth Western Times

TWO years ago, the owner of one of Australia’s greatest soul voices Doug Parkinson was packing his bags for work when he had an epiphany; “I really do love singing and I wouldn’t be happy if I weren’t able to do that anymore”.

“So, it went from me just going to work and doing a job to me loving my work,” Parkinson said.

“The only thing I don’t like now is small aeroplane seats, crowded airports, dirty taxis and showers that don’t work well in motel rooms,” he laughed, “but in terms of performance I am loving it as much as I ever have.”

Before he capitalised on his soulful, smoky voice to forge a professional music career which would span six decades, Parkinson was a journalist with the Sydney Daily Telegraph.

After joining a number of bands, Parkinson’s multi-award winning solo career began in 1972, which also saw him appear in a number of box office hit musicals.

“I have had a long career and I have been very fortunate to experience this roller coaster ride,” he said.

Parkinson will return to Bunbury for his production Doug Parkinson Honours Joe Cocker at the Bunbury Regional Entertainment Centre on Saturday, jesting he hoped “the people in Bunbury still remember me” as he hadn’t completed a WA tour for many years.

“I’m working with my beautiful band – my big eight-piece band – and my two girls, who I have worked with for 30 years,” he said.

“Every time we go out on the road it’s like a big joyful adventure – you can’t ask for much more than that.”

Parkinson clarified he would be paying tribute to the late English musician famous for his covers of other artists songs, not impersonating him.

“He had hit after hit – it is very interesting for me as a singer to be singing those songs because they are all so different and were performed by a great band, which I happen to have with me as well, so every night is a real joy.”

Parkinson said he draws many parallels between his life and Cocker’s despite being “two different singers at the opposite ends of the earth”.

“We were both born in steel towns, we are both interpreters of music rather than writers and we both did really silly things when we were young men but they couldn’t deport me because I was born here,” he laughed.

Parkinson will perform his own hits, including The Beatles’ Dear Prudence as well as selections from Cocker’s repertoire, including his favourites Into the Mystic and You Are so Beautiful.

Tickets to the show can be purchased from the BREC Box Office.

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