The “Golden Hits OThe 70s 

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(Walter Nims)

Carousel 30055

No. 3   February 26, 1972




Sonny Geraci, the voice of “Precious and Few,” got his start in a forgotten high school band in Cleveland,

in the pre-Beatles ’60s.  “By 1965, I was wanting to make a record and get the girls,” said Sonny Geraci in

an exclu­sive interview.  “There was this local band called the Spitfires, that had made some records that

needed a vocalist.  They were old, older than I–22, 23–and tired of the game and didn’t care to make

anymore records.  In there was Tom King and he and Chet Kelley had this song ‘Time Won’t Let Me.’  I

knew it was great, so I pushed…  finally at $40 an hour, we recorded just that one song in three hours at

Cleveland Recorders.”


With Capitol Records taking an immediate interest and “Time Won’t Let Me” as their first single, the Spit­

fires were set for the ride of their lives.  Three of the five heard on the record were gone by the time of the

disk’s release.  “Our manager spotted this sign that said, ‘Out­siders keep out!’  It was now a new band, so

we figured we needed a new name …”


As the Cleveland-based Outsiders, Sonny (b. 1947, Cleveland) and the rest had the charts sewed up.  “Time

Won’t Let Me” (#5, 1966), “Girl in Love” (#21, 1966), “Help Me Girl” (#37, 1966), and their remake of the

Isley Brothers’ “Respectable” (#15, 1966)–what Baby Boomer can forget them?  They toured constantly,

and three of their four LPs sold well–Time Won’t Let Me (1966), The Outsiders Album 2 (1966), and

Happening ‘Live’ (1967).


“That was our big year, 1966, but it was all over for us,” said Geraci.  “By the end of the year, our manager

had a Porsche; we didn’t.  We could see that we weren’t getting our money, and it just tore us apart.”  One

by one members dropped out and the hits stopped.  Some­ time in 1968, Sonny and guitarist Walter Nims

left what remained of the Outsiders.  “We wanted to go to Los Angeles, and I just wanted to stay out of it

and get my life back.  When your always out on tour, it’s hard to form a relationship with a girl; or even to



Six months of normality and Sonny was itchin’ again to do music.  After some starts and stops, Sonny,

Walt, and a ever-changing line-up found a positive response from Marc Gordon, manager of the Fifth

Dimension and founder of Carousel Records (soon relabeled Rocky Road Records, due to legal threats

from a similarly named company).  “Changes,” the first release by Sonny and Walt was billed as by the

“Out­siders.”  The initial response was favorable, but Tom King and others in the original Outsiders voiced

a com­plaint and the disk was reissued as by Climax.


“I can’t recall where the idea for the group’s name came from,” said Sonny.  “And I got a good memory,

too.  Probably I should’ve just put my name on the records.”  “Hard Rock Group,” accredited to Climax,

failed to sell nationally, but the follow-up, Walt’s “Pre­cious and Few”–with a line-up that included Geraci,

Nims, Robert Nelson (drums), Virgil Weber (key­boards), and Steven York (bass, harmonica)–did what no

other Climax cut would ever do–charted Top 10.  Numerous poorly-distributed disks were tried (and

trampled) over the next several years.  “Life and Breath” (#52, 1972) and their one LP (Climax, #177,

1972) were only marginal successes.


“When ‘Rock and Roll Heaven’ [later a reworked hit for the Righteous Brothers] didn’t make it, I just

decid­ed to stop for awhile.”  Tired of performing in Cleveland bars, Sonny married in 1982 and became a

father, a born-again Christian, and a salesman of siding and replacement windows.


In the late ’80s, Sonny found a new personal man­ager, reformed and modified an Outsiders/Climax

group, and was musically active on a part-time basis.  With the release of Sonny Geraci on the Verge in

1997, Sonny was back to rock’n’roll full time.


Nims, who has experienced a string of bad health and lives on the East Coast, continues to write tunes.

Weber went on to membership in a later edition of the Grassroots.  In his post-Climax career, York–at

various times a member of East of Eden, Manfred Mann’s Chapter Three, Vinegar Joe–has become a top-

notch session bassist, having recorded with Joan Armatrad­ing, Graham Bond, THE CRAZY WORLD OF

ARTHUR BROWN, DR. JOHN, Marianne Faithfull, Charlie Mussel­white, and others.