I recently got a chance to have lunch and a nice visit with Jerry Corbetta. While visiting I asked for and got his permission to add his story to this site. It is something I've always wanted to do since his story has much relevance to this site. Most, if not all of the memorabilia you'll see on these pages are from my personal collection. A lot of the information is from an interview that I did with him in 1997.
Jerry was born in 1947 in Denver, CO and it didn't take long for people to take notice. Here is a newspaper clipping from The Denver Post announcing a music festival where he was to perform at age 4. Pretty amazing!
A couple of years later, in 1954 at age 6, there was an article in the Rocky Mountain News calling Jerry "a pint sized Gene Krupa." I haven't located that newspaper clipping yet. Hopefully I'll find that sometime in the future.
Shortly after this he played U.S.O. shows with his sister Nancy. When she got married he put together a band with his sister Barbara and Smokey and Denny Kurtz. Together they called themselves The Corkers. They also played U.S.O. dances and officer's club dances.
He started his first rock and roll band at age 13 or 14. It was called The McCoys. This is the band in which he made his first recordings in a studio in 1961. (Long before The McCoys group that recorded "Hang on Sloopy.")
After getting hit in the eye while playing baseball Jerry suffered a detached retina which made him quit the drums and switch to keyboards. When he was 17 he started playing in a band called The Brambles. Below is a newspaper clipping from the KBTR newspaper from November 8, 1965:
Around 1967 they changed their name to The Voices of Mute. They used to have a dummy on stage and that was the mute. In 1968 he started a band called The Half Doesn't and was playing 6 nights a week in a 3.2 nightclub. After about a year with them he was asked to join The Moonrakers. He did not stay with The Moonrakers long, but they were recording an album at the time and he appeared on four tracks on the album as the drummer. Much more information about The Moonrakers can be found on another website I've created at www.moonrakers.us Going there will take you off of this site. so please be sure to come back.
Jerry didn't like playing the drums anymore so he talked Bob Webber into leaving The Moonrakers and together with Bob Raymond and Myron Pollock they started Chocolate Hair at the end of 1968. Bob Webber and Jerry were still signed with Frank Slay for four months at this point and after three months they came to him with their first ideas for what would eventually become the self-titled Sugarloaf LP.
What a lot of people don't realize is that the first LP had a raw sound because of the fact that, other than "Green Eyed Lady," which was recorded after the rest, these were the original demos they had cut and were not ever intended by the band to be the final release. Frank Slay talked them into this. He said they (Liberty) liked the recording the way it was. If it's not broke, don't fix it.
Myron Pollock was the drummer on all of the tracks except "Green Eyed Lady" on the LP. On September 29, 1969, Chocolate Hair approached Bob MacVittie (an original Moonraker) about joining the band because Myron was quitting. On October 2nd, Bob played his first gig with Chocolate Hair. Also worth mentioning is the fact that Veeder Van Dorn (another original Moonraker) was also with Sugarloaf briefly around this time. The most notable contribution from him to the LP were his vocals on "Things Gonna Change Some."
It was while the artwork was being created for the first LP that the legal department at Liberty suggested that they change the name of their group stating that it could be taken as having racial overtones. Jerry told them it was just a name, but they said that the group would be better off changing it. Gold was one name suggested for the group, but they thought that might sound too pretentious. When the band first started out, Bob Webber lived in an A-frame house on Sugarloaf Mountain. That is where they worked out the songs on the LP and they decided Sugarloaf would be a good name for the band.
Click on the Sugarloaf Bio folder above to see the pages and photos.
I believe this was the first trade ad for Sugarloaf on the reverse of the June 15, 1970 Rolling Stone cover. Many more advertisements followed and can be seen by clicking on the link in the last paragraph of this page.
(Click on the LP cover above to see the tape versions and foreign variations of the album including a red vinyl copy.)
In late spring or early summer the self-titled Sugarloaf LP was released on Liberty Records LST-7640. It would peak nationally on the Billboard Charts at #24, and would remain on the charts for 29 weeks. The liner notes on the back cover were written by Rolling Stone's Langdon Winner.
Eyed Lady" was recorded at Original Sound Studios in Hollywood after the
other tracks on the LP and has Bob MacVittie on drums. The song almost
didn't make it on the LP. It was a last minute daring maneuver that got it
on the final master tape or things may have gone in a different direction.
I'm not positive that "Green Eyed Lady" was released simultaneously with the LP but if not, it was only a very short time later.
Above we have a sealed copy of the 45. Something you rarely see. Click on the 45 above for more "Green Eyed Lady" releases, along with a U.K. Press Release for the single.
"Green Eyed Lady" reached #1 in many markets around the U.S. and peaked nationally on Billboard at #3 for two weeks. It remained in the Top 10 for eight out of the twelve weeks that it was in the Top 40, and was the #30 song for the year of 1970 on Billboard. Below is a survey from Tulsa, OK with it at the top spot. This is the earliest survey I have seen with it at #1. Sugarloaf was well liked in this area.
(Click on the survey above to see more surveys with "Green Eyed Lady" at #1)
Around the same time the LP and single were released, Bob Yeazel was asked to join the group. The date would have been sometime prior to June 9, 1970 as he has given me a detailed account of being with Sugarloaf when they opened for The Who on that date.
PLEASE NOTE: This is the point where Bob's and Jerry's Sugarloaf pages on the site intersect. If you would like to continue through all of the intersecting pages in proper order, click here (but read to the end of this page first) to go to the Sugarloaf Ads page, which is the first page where the info intersects. When you get to the bottom of that page, click the Next for link and continue to do this for all subsequent pages through the Miscellaneous Sugarloaf page. At the bottom of that page will be a link to take you back to Jerry Corbetta Page 2. By doing this you will be able to check out all of the items that pertain to Jerry in the proper chronological order.
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