Categorized | Music News

Sonny Geraci

Posted on 13 February 2017 by Brian Walsh

Sonny Geraci, lead singer of the Outsiders and later, Climax, died Sunday (February 5) nearly four years after suffering a brain aneurysm. The Cleveland native was 69. The Outsiders started as a Cleveland band called the Starfires, who changed their name in 1965 when they signed with Capitol Records. They quickly racked up four top 40 hits with “Time Won’t Let Me” (#5-1966), “Girl In Love” (#21-1966), “Respectable” (#15-1966) and “Help Me Girl” (#37-1966). Three subsequent singles only “bubbled under” the hot 100 chart, as did another on Bell Records with Sonny and a re-formed Outsiders (the original group had broken up at this point) listing him as lead singer. A legal battle over the name ensued and Sonny changed this new group (now based in Los Angeles) to Climax. In 1970, they recorded “Precious And Few”. But the record sat on the shelves for nearly two years before being released by Bell Records’ Carousel label, thanks to airplay in Santa Barbara, California. The song zoomed to #3 in early 1972 but the follow-up, “Life And Breath” on Rocky Road Records (same label as Carousel with a different name) only reached #52 that year and Sonny saw his second group disband in 1976. Sonny recorded one album as Peter Emmett before essential leaving music for 25 years. He later returned to play the oldies circuit as both the Outsiders and Climax. He even filled at one point for Rob Grill in the Grass Roots before a 2012 aneurysm ended his career. A tribute concert was held in Streetsboro, Ohio in November of 2013 to help with his medical expenses.

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