Green-Eyed Lady

Album: Sugarloaf (1970)
Charted: 3
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  • Who is the green-eyed lady? According to lead singer Jerry Corbetta, it was his girlfriend at the time, Kathy, who is bandmates referred to as the green-eyed lady. He wrote the song with producer J.C. Phillips and a songwriter named David Riordan.
  • 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 a 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.
  • Jerry Corbetta played the organ solo on this track in addition to singing lead. He played it in the style of jazz musician Jimmy Smith, his idol.
  • 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.

Comments: 14

  • Pound Puppy From Kc from UsaI lived in Denver in 1964/65 and remember the Moonrakers. They were one of the two hot bands from the Denver/Boulder area.
  • Sandytx from La Vernia TxThanks Cathy Peacock for sharing this bit of your life and giving us a small insight into Jerry Corbetta, the band, and the music. Green Eyed Lady remains one of my favorite songs. He music is so haunting and riveting. My condolences to you and his family on his passing.
    (And a note to Ted, I believe his song reference is to American Woman.)
  • Bill from U.s. I remember a newer cover of this song that got fairly major airplay in the late 80s or early 90s. It was a well known guitar player but I can't remember who and I've searched all over and can't find any reference to it. I'm sure it made the Billboard charts. It was a hard rock version. It was not Pat Travers.
  • Patti from MichiganThere is a book called Colorado Rocks!: A Half-Century Of Music in Colorado. "Green-Eyed Lady" is mentioned, as is a lady named Kathy Peacock, so Cathy from Sacramento's story is true. She mentioned that a reporter spelled her name wrong back in 1985. Well, whoever did the research for this book did as well. Too bad it wasn't corrected before the book was published. If you go to this link, and search for Sugarloaf, you can read about that song, and an interesting story about "Don't Call Us, We'll Call You." Thanks for solving the mystery about who the green-eyed lady is, Cathy. I'm going to date my post, since this site doesn't time-stamp anything. Maybe they should change that. Posted 2-12-17
  • Ted from FloridaThe song is about the Statue of Liberty.
  • Cathy Peacock from Sacramento, CaI know that many women claim Green-Eyed Lady was written about them, but the song was written for me. In a 1985 Rocky Mountain News interview, Jerry told the reporter that the song's chorus was about his girlfriend at the time whose name was Kathy Peacock. Although the reporter spelled my first name with a K, everything else was accurate. Jerry's exact quote was, "She has incredible green eyes and people were always saying stuff like, Corbetta's green-eyed lady." Jerry and I first met at Metropolitan State College in the student lounge and it was love at first sight for both of us. He was finishing his last quarter in the music department, and I was in exploring options in my first. After our first date we were inseparable, and within two months we moved in together. We lived in a beautiful old Victorian house that had been converted into apartments on the corner of 13th and Josephine Ave. in Denver, Colorado. The apartment was in the tourette of the house. It was the first time either of us had moved out of our parents home. We survived on my tips as a part-time waitress at the Walgreen's lunch counter, and his earnings from gigs he played during the week and on weekends with Chocolate Hair. Jerry and his writing partner were in the process of composing the music for Green-Eyed Lady when he turned to me one day and told me that he was going to call the song Green-Eyed Lady because he loved looking into my green eyes. The band was signed to their record deal with Liberty Records and their manager wanted the band to move to Los Angeles. Jerry asked me to move and I never looked back. Jerry and I stayed together until I no longer could tolerate the groupies, touring, and the rock and roll life. We broke up around 1974, but remained friends until our forties when I lost contact with him. Sadly, Jerry died this week in Denver and his funeral was today. He leaves his only son, Kyle, and his sisters, Barbara and Nancy, along with many close friends and fans. He was a fantastic musician and a wonderful man. I hold dear those memories of Jerry and our brief romance. I thank him for giving me a peek into the psychedelic world of rock and roll of the 1970s and for Green-Eyed Lady. I never tire of hearing it on the radio or in the supermarket as the unmistakable organ rift plays. smile slowly appears on my face as memories come flooding back of days long since passed and I see the young man sitting at the piano, softly serenading me with a ballad he just composed for me.
  • Wayne from St.catharines, OnIt was not written for Vanessa Paradis, she was born in 1972, but the song was released in 1970. So not possible.
  • Paul from Tacoma, WaIn August of 1974, Sugarloaf played on a double bill with the Iron Butterfly and a local band called Toulouse at the University of Puget Sound Fieldhouse in Tacoma WA. I was fortunate enough to be helping with the sound. What a great concert! P.S. - Why isn't Inna Gada Da Vida included in your list of songs with organs?
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn March 1st 1975, Sugarloaf appeared on the ABC-TV program 'American Bandstand' and performed their only other Top 10 record, "Don't Call Us, We'll Call You"...
    It had entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart three months earlier on December 1st, 1974 at position #99; and on March 23rd, 1975 it peaked at #9 (for 1 week) and spent 21 weeks on the Top 100...
    The quartet had three other records made the Top 100; "Tongue In Cheek" (#55), "Mother Nature's Wine (#88), and "Stars In My Eyes" (#87).
  • Michael from Santa Barbara, CaIs this song about a specific person? If so, I'd like to know who.
  • Richard from Albuquerque, NmIs Green Eyed Lady considered to be the first song to reach the top 10 in the US charts to be synthesized?
  • John from Cuyahoga Falls, OhOne of my favorite old hits but I prefer the long version. Great if you like prog rock influenced pop songs with a lot of Hammond organ (which I do). To answer Leslie's question: the woman in the video is Vanessa Paradis. Who is (or was) married to Johnny Depp.
  • Leslie from Windsor, CtEven though I am a Black woman, when I first heard this song it took my breath away. It was the music that caught me --- then the lyrics. Anytime my sister hears this song on the radio she thinks of me. This was my song in the '70s. I just love this song and always will. It brings back good memories to me. The '70s was a good decade. Can I ask a question? Who was the girl in the "Green-eyed Lady" video? Does anyone remember?

  • Camille from Toronto, OhWow. For a song that "gets almost daily play on US radio stations to this day" (here it is June 2012), I'm surprised to be the first one to comment on it. Maybe because it gets overplayed, it doesn't rank that high on my list of favorites, (altho I have it on my ipod). I think it's the lyrics that draw the listener to the song. They visually paint a vivid picture of a mysterious goddess with enviable spiritual/mystical power. She's like a latter-day Jesus and a forerunner of Rhiannon. Combine that with the 'dazzling' organ and you have a magical song.
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