As a baby boomer, I can tell you that one of the bands that helped form my musical taste since 1967 was The Buckinghams. From the obvious smash – “Kind of a Drag” to their big AM Radio hits like “Don’t You Care” – “Hey Baby (They’re Playing Our Song)” and “Susan” this band always had a “Sunshine Pop” appeal. But to fans like me, their music went a lot deeper as their album tracks unfolded.
In 1967-68, the dam burst for Chicago’s Buckinghams, and the airwaves were awash with that wonderful sound: heartfelt vocals riding over lush horn arrangements. By year’s end, Dennis Tufano, Carl Giammarese and company had scored major hits with “Don’t You Care,” “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy,” “Hey Baby (They’re Playing Our Song),” “Susan,” “Back In Love Again” and more. In rapid order, the group released three Columbia albums: Time & Charges, Portraits, and In One Ear And Gone Tomorrow, jam-packed with Top 40 radio smashes and much, much more. In 1967 Billboard Magazine declared that The Buckinghams were the most popular band in the world!
About The Buckinghams
America has rediscovered The Buckinghams, like opening a time capsule from 40 years ago and finding everything special you placed there with care, just like it was 1968 all over again.
Carl Giammarese and Nick Fortuna take you down memory lane once again to the heyday when your greatest worry was whether you had a Saturday night date and what to wear. With rock n’ roll anthems like “Don’t You Care,” “Hey Baby, They’re Playing Our Song,” and “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy,” you can go back in time. When you hear the familiar Chicago horn sound they made famous on the opening bars of “Kind of a Drag,” their number one chart-topping hit, you remember why Billboard magazine named The Buckinghams “The Most Listened to Band in America” in 1967. Columbia Records was the home for most of the band’s hits, and “Time and Charges,” “Portraits,” and “In One Ear and Gone Tomorrow” are among many prized possessions of America’s youth, now gently matured.
Still looking better than ever, Giammarese and Fortuna inspire us that “60 is the new 40,” as they have more energy than ever in concert, fueled by their passion for performing that makes you get off your chair and just dance the night away. Forty years ago, as Carl was on lead guitar and Nick was on bass, Dennis Tufano sang vocals and Marty Grebb played keyboards, sax, and sang, while John Poulos brought his trademark energy to the drums. Today, Carl Giammarese, original lead guitar/vocals, adds dazzling lead vocals to shining lead guitar riffs. Giammarese continues to hold audiences spellbound on all the hits, pouring his heart and soul into audience favorites from the 60s including “The Worst That Could Happen,” “ When A Man Loves A Woman” and “I Knew You When.” Nick Fortuna, original bass guitar/vocals adds pulsating bass rhythms and contributes smooth vocal harmonies on the hits, then takes a drive on the “Expressway to Your Heart,” and does unforgettable versions of “Domino” and “Time Won’t LEt Me” that make those 60s memories come alive.
Recommend to listen: Nazz
Joining founding members Giammarese and Fortuna are today are Rocky Penn, with great vocals to match his skilled drums, Dave Zane adding a new dimension of vocals with exemplary guitar playing, and Bruce Soboroff blending harmony and background vocals in the swells of the orchestra found in his keyboards. It sounds as good today as it did back when you first heard the hits.
Then and now, you love The Buckinghams. Fans first watched them on “The Ed Sullivan Show,” Dick Clark’s “American Bandstand,” and The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour.” Through the years, fans saw them on tour with Gene Pitney, The Beach Boys, Sonny and Cher, Tom Jones, and Neil Diamond. Later, the newly reunited Buckinghams were part of the “Happy Together Tour,” one of the 10 top grossing tours of 1985. In 2001, The Buckinghams were favorites on the Solid Gold 60s tour, along with Tommy James and the Shondells, Herman’s Hermits featuring Peter Noone, Gary Puckett and the Union Gap, and The Grass Roots. The band was invited to perform for two Presidential Inaugural Galas, in 2005 and 2009. In 2010, Carl and Nick were part of the tremendously successful 25th anniversary Happy Together Tour, and a return engagement is in the works for 2011.
Today, The Buckinghams continue touring the country, whether festival, arena, casino, or corporate event. Their song list always includes their 8 chart-topping hits, plus depending on the venue, can include: Three Dog Night, Chicago, a Beatles medley, Motown favorites, or new songs from their latest CD, “Up Close,” featuring live recordings of all their chart-topping hits, as well as 60s favorites that keep audiences up on their feet, dancing and enjoying the music. Their Christmas CD, “The Joy of Christmas,” includes memories from their popular rock and roll Christmas shows they perform each year with new songs by Carl Giammarese as well as favorite holiday classics.
You’re never too old to be young again, and with the high-energy sound and inspired performances by The Buckinghams, you will soon be singing “I’ll Never Say Goodbye” right along with them. They’ve never forgotten their Chicago roots, but the group formerly known as “The Royalty of Rock and Roll” has grown up into one of America’s treasured 60s groups. Join them in concert today, where the audience still sings, “I love you, yes I do, I do,” as the background vocals to “Susan” and “oooh, my, my, my, my, baby” on “Don’t You Care,” They won’t have any “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy” on you if you don’t know the background vocals to “Kind of a Drag.” You’ll just have to hear them for yourself and try again. Hey Baby, they’re (still) playing your song; ladies and gentlemen, The Buckinghams!
Also, check out Unicorn’s album, you will love them.