The band was formed in Stafford, England in 1968 by vocalist and harmonica player Colin Cooper (1939-2008), guitarist and vocalist Pete Haycock (1951-2013), guitarist Derek Holt (b. 1949), bassist and keyboardist Richard Jones (b. 1949), drummer George Newsome (b. 1947), and keyboardist Arthur Wood (1929-2005).
Climax came out of the ashes of the 1960s hit band The Outsiders.
A few singles were released under the Outsiders name, but when Tom King of the original band threatened legal action, the name of the band was changed to Climax (singles released under The Outsiders name included “Lovin’ You”/”Think I’m Fallin'” and “Changes”/”Lost In My World”).
Following the name change, the album Climax Featuring Sonny Geraci was released. The band is often considered a one-hit wonder because other than “Precious and Few”, no other releases gained much widespread success.
In spite of the success of “Precious and Few”, the album barely made it into the top 200 portion of the Billboard 200 sales chart, peaking at #177.
In 1972, the group shortened its name to the Climax Blues Band due to pressure from the American band, Chicago Transit Authority.
The band has released at least 17 albums and had a Top 10 hit in the UK with “Couldn’t Get It Right”.
Jones left the group in 1969, so Holt switched to bass.
They switched to Harvest Records in 1970 and their records had a more rock-oriented feel.
John Cuffley replaced Newsome in 1971.
In 2006 George Newsome teamed up with Wolverhampton blues rock guitarist, Tim Jenks.
He has since recorded 2 albums with Jenks, “Tear Down the Walls” in 2008 a collection of original material by Jenks and more recently “Realms of Glory” a collection of both original and traditional Christmas songs.
Newsome continues to drum with Jenks on regular basis around Wolverhampton’s local pub blues rock scene.
When Wood quit in 1972, the group decided to continue as a foursome and dropped “Chicago” from their name.
In 1985 Cooper and Glover recruited guitarist Lester Hunt, drummer Roy Adams, and original member Derek Holt to record the Climax Blues Band album Drastic Steps, and this lineup toured the album in the UK, Europe and America. The new lineup soon became established with Colin Cooper, George Glover, Lester Hunt, Roy Adams and Neil Simpson in the early 1990s, releasing the live album Blues from the Attic in 1993 and Big Blues in 2004.
Cooper died of cancer, aged 69, in July 2008.
He is survived by his wife and two children.
Cooper desired for the band to continue with his wishes, as the other musicians within the band had all been longserving; with George Glover serving since 1980, Roy Adams and Lester Hunt since 1985, and Neil Simpson since 1991, respectively.
Cooper was originally replaced by singer, saxophone and harmonica player Johnny Pugh, who retired in 2012, and later by vocalist Graham Dee and saxophone player Chris Aldridge.