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Since "Green-Eyed Lady" gets almost daily play on US radio stations to this day and none of their other songs do, many will be surprised to know that Sugarloaf is not a one-hit wonder; their other hit is "Don't Call Us, We'll Call You" from 1975 at #9 on the Billboard Hot 100. "Green-Eyed Lady," at #3, is their best-known (and somewhat overplayed) single.
One of the reasons that the hook is so catchy is that it's based on a piece of scale exercise that frontman Jerry Corbetta found in a book.
The band was originally called "Chocolate Hair" but after getting signed to a record label, they had to change their name because managers were nervous about the potentially racist interpretation of that name (that and the name would have permanently branded them as '60s psychedelics). They chose "Sugarloaf" after a local Colorado ski resort.
In the single version, which is all you'll hear on the radio and also in most compilation albums, the song length is about three and a half minutes. The album version is extended to seven minutes for Corbetta's lengthy - but dazzling - organ solo.
Sugarloaf was formed from the remains of the band The Moonrakers, with five members of that group carried over. Interestingly, "Moonraker" doesn't just refer to a James Bond film, but also to a nickname for people from Wiltshire in South West Country England. The story goes that the people there were discovered running a rake through a pond at night, trying to retrieve treasure. When a revenue man asked what they were up to, their excuse was that they were trying to retrieve a wheel of cheese from the pond (the reflection of the full moon). The revenue guy walked off chuckling at their simple-mindedness, and the villagers didn't have to pay taxes.
The Real Nick Drake
The head of Drake's estate shares his insights on the late folk singer's life and music.
His song "Into The Night" is one of the most-played of all time. For Benny, it took him to hell and back.
The "Midnight At The Oasis" singer is an Old Time gal.