Archive | 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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Rick Deringer

Posted on 13 February 2017 by Brian Walsh

Rick Deringer was charged Friday (February 10) with having a loaded gun in his carry-on bag on a flight from Cancun January 9. The gun was discovered at a stop in Atlanta. Apparently, Rick had the gun on his flight from Sarasota, Florida through Atlanta and to Mexico, as well. The screener in Florida has been terminated. Rick, who has a Florida permit for the gun, told air marshals he travels 30-50 times a year with the gun and has never been stopped. A criminal complaint has been filed.

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Al Jarreau

Posted on 13 February 2017 by Brian Walsh

Al Jarreau, a Grammy-winning jazz singer, died Sunday just days after he retired from touring due to exhaustion. He was 76.

His official Twitter posted a statement Feb. 8 saying that Jarreau’s medical team “has instructed that he cannot perform any of his remaining 2017 concert tour dates.”

“Therefore, with complete sorrow, Al Jarreau must retire from touring,” the note continued. “He is thankful for his 50 years of traveling the world in ministry through music, and for everyone who shared this with him — his faithful audience, the dedicated musicians, and so many others who supported his effort.”

News of his death was also posted to his Twitter account. “#ALJarreau passed away this morning. He was in the hospital, comfortable by his wife, son, and a few of his family and friends,” one post read.

Jarreau released his first album, We Got By, in 1975. He went on to release 15 other albums, the most recent being 2014’s My Old Friend: Celebrating George Duke, and nab seven Grammy Awards.

The vocalist was also known for performing the theme to Moonlighting, a show that ran on ABC from 1985 to 1989. The song earned Jarreau two Grammy nods: one for Best Pop Vocal Performance by a Male and another for Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture or Television.

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Glen Campbell

Posted on 04 February 2017 by Brian Walsh

The National Guitar Museum in New York announced Tuesday (January 31) that its Lifetime Achievement Award has been given to Glen Campbell. Glen joins previous winners like the Byrd’s Roiger McGuinn and B.B. King.

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Righteous Brothers

Posted on 04 February 2017 by Brian Walsh

Police in Hermosa Beach, California announced Monday (January 30) that they had identified the 1976 killer of Righteous Brother Bill Medley’s ex-wife through DNA testing from a relative of the killer. The killer was identified as a man who, in 1982, was gunned down by police after escaping from the prison where he was being held for burglary and suspicion of multiple sexual assaults. Bill was married to Karen Klaas from 1964 until a year before she was murdered. They had a son, who was subsequently raised by Bill.

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Bobby Freeman

Posted on 04 February 2017 by Brian Walsh

Robert Thomas “Bobby” Freeman, who wrote and recorded the original “Do You Want To Dance” (#5-1958), has died at the age of 76. An exact date and cause was not given. Born in San Francisco, Bobby began recording at the age of 14 with a doo-wop group called the Romancers, who had three releases on Dootone and Baytone Records. He later formed the West Coast Vocaleers to even less success. But it was as a solo artist that Josie Records heard some demos he recorded and signed Bobby, releasing a more polished version of “Do You Want To Dance”. Though five of his seven Josie records charted, only his version of “Betty Lou Got A New Pair Of Shoes” (#37-1958) made the top 40 and in 1960, Bobby signed with King Records, where “(I Do) Shimmy Shimmy”got to #37. Inexplicably, King didn’t release another Bobby Freeman single for four years, at which time Bobby was working with producer/writer Sly Stone at San Francisco’s Autumn Records. “C’Mon And Swim” put Bobby back on the charts, reaching #5 in 1964. It was followed by “S-W-I-M” (#56-1964), but subsequent releases merely “bubbled under” the Hot 100 charts. Re-makes of “Do You Want To Dance” by the Beach Boys, the Mamas & the Papas and Bette Midler however, kept Bobby’s name alive and contributed to a life-long career as a club singer.

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4 Seasons

Posted on 17 December 2016 by Brian Walsh

The Broadway production of “Jersey Boys: The Story of the Four Seasons”, will close January 15 after 11 years and 4,642 performances. It’s the 12th longest-running musical in Broadway history.

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