Monday, December 3, 2012

The Buckinghams - Greatest Hits

The Buckinghams are an American Sunshine Pop band from ChicagoIllinois.  They formed in 1966, and went on to become one of the top selling acts of 1967.  They dissolved in 1970, but reformed in 1980 and as of 2011 they continue to tour throughout the United States.  In 1965, guitarist Carl Giammarese and bassist Nick Fortuna were invited to join a band called the Centuries.  They, along with keyboardist Dennis Miccolis, later became members of another band, the Pulsations, whose members included drummer John Poulos and vocalists George LeGros and Dennis Tufano.  By early 1966 LeGros was forced to leave after he was drafted.  After winning a local battle of the bands competition, the Pulsations secured a job as the house band on WGN-TV's variety show called All-Time Hits in 1966.  The show's producers suggested they adopt a name reflective of the British invasion, which was popular at the time, and the band adopted the name the Buckinghams, which was suggested by a security guard at the station.  In early 1966, the band signed their first record contract with local label USA Records and recorded twelve songs that year.  Several were released as singles, including "I'll Go Crazy", a song originally recorded by James Brown & the Famous Flames and the Beatles' "I Call Your Name".  However, it was their number one single, "Kind of a Drag" that provided them with national exposure.  "Kind of a Drag" was written by Chicago-based songwriter Jim Holvay, who had been performing with a group called the Mob, and spent two weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 in February 1967.  It sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc.  The co-producers of "Kind of a Drag" were the band's first personal manager, Carl Bonafede, and big band leader Dan Belloc, owner of the Holiday Ballroom in Chicago. The horns on the song were arranged by Frank Tesinsky and the engineer at the first recording sessions held at Chess Records in Chicago was Ron Malo.  Following this, the band's debut album, also entitled Kind of a Drag, was released on USA Records and featured the band's early recordings.

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