Sunday, May 09, 2010

HENRY COOPER "Knock Me Down With a Feather"

Well knock me down with a feather: happy recent birthday to Henry Cooper!

The British heavyweight was born May 3, 1934. And the anniversary of his most famous fight comes up on June 18th.

A legend in the U.K., Henry is known worldwide for giving a young Muhammad Ali (Cassius Clay at the time) a "pretty good scrap" in their first fight. It was June 18th, 1963. Rising contender 21 year-old Cassius Clay was up against 29 year-old Cooper. Clay opened a terrible cut above Cooper's eye in the third, and seemed ready to fulfill his prediction of a fifth round stoppage. But in the fourth, Henry landed a left hook. The flash knockdown happened with just seconds left in the round. Between rounds, an extra five seconds were taken to examine a minor hole in Clay's glove, which was not replaced. In the fifth, Clay stopped Cooper on cuts. 'Ammerin 'Enery wasn't done; in his next fight he wowed the crowed by stopping Brian London.

The re-match against the re-named Muhammad Ali happened on May 21, 1966 but it wasn't much of a contest, a TKO in the 6th round sending the bloodied Brit to defeat. Cooper's next match saw him lose via KO to ex-champ Floyd Patterson, but for U.K. fans, Henry remained a courageous hero, and he's become "Sir Henry," knighted in the year 2000.

Henry's novelty single ""Knock Me Down With a Feather" came out in 1976 (the B-side's "Knocked Out On Your Love). It spawned an entire album, "Knockout Party."

In the tradition of many non-singers who were famous enough to get behind a microphone (Ringo Starr the most obvious example), Cooper, with a little help from a chorus that probably had a few pints too many, sings in an amiable British Music Hall-type style. Wiv a little bit o' luck it coulda been a contenda.

If you remember how John Lennon's father sang (his two songs are here on the blog), then you might consider Henry Cooper sounding the way one might've expected Ringo Starr's father to sound if he also chose to cash in on his son's fame. (There's even a "yeah yeah yeah" buried in the chorus).
KNOCK ME OUT WITH HENRY COOPER No pop-ups, pop-unders, porn-ads or wait time.

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