Saturday, September 17, 2016

Passings: Jerry Corbetta, Lead Singer of Sugarloaf

by VVN Music

Jerry Corbetta, the lead singer for Sugarloaf, died Friday in Denver, CO at the age of 68. He had been suffering from Pick's Disease for a number of years.

Corbetta was initially famous around the Denver area playing drums, first creating a stir at the age of 4. He later played USO shows with his sister Nancy and, in a band called The Corkers with his sister Barbara.

One day, while playing baseball, he injured his eye and decided to change from the more strenuous drums to keyboards. A number of teen bands followed, moving his interest more towards rock and roll. In the late 60's, Jerry played in a band called the Moonrakers with Bob Webber, releasing four songs on the Tower label.

Corbetta and Webber later formed a new band, Chocolate Hair, who were signed to Liberty Records. In 1969, they went into the studio to record an album which included a song called Green Eyed Lady but, before it was released, the label forced the group to change their name, feeling that Chocolate Hair could be interpreted to have racist overtones.

Sugarloaf released their self titled debut album in 1970 and Green Eyed Lady shot up to number 3 in the later half of the year. The national exposure put them on the road for extended touring with the likes of Deep Purple and The Who but they failed to score another hit with the followups not making the top 50.

In 1973, Liberty dropped all of their artists and Sugarloaf signed with Brut Records, a collaboration between Neil Bogart and Brut Fabrerge. They released their third album, I Got a Song, in 1973 but they were once again the victims of a changing music industry with Brut going out of business. Corbetta and band member Frank Slay bought the album back and went into the studio to record the song Don't Call Us, We'll Call You.

Released in 1974, Don't Call Us became a national hit, going to number 9, and the I Got a Song album was re-titled after the hit and released on Claridge Records. When followups didn't chart, Sugarloaf broke up.

Corbetta pursued a solo career and spent time as a member of Frankie Valli and the Seasons from 1980 to 1984. Jerry also played the oldies circuit including an attempt to resurrect Sugarloaf from 1989 to 1991.

Jerry retired in 2009 to fight Pick's Disease.

Corbetta is survived by one son.


1 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dear Jerry,
As long as there is music, we will remember you.
Rest in Peace.
Love,
Molly

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