Thursday, November 03, 2011
AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Chicago
Song:Saturday In The Park
Album:The Best Of Chicago: 40th Anniversary Edition
Chicago is a good example of what happens in the music business when art and commerce collide. They started out in the late 60s as a jazz rock band but due to internal and external pressure, they became a standard pop group. They sure sold a lot of records. Saturday In The Park was one of their biggest early hits. The group started out in 1967 at DePaul University in Chicago. Sax player Walter Parazaider, trumpeter Lee Loughnane and trombonist James Pankow were all music students. While playing in clubs, they met guitarist Terry Kath and drummer Danny Seraphine. The idea was to be like The Beatles but with horns. They met producer James William Guercio through the Chicago band The Buckinghams. They added keyboard player Robert Lamm and started playing gigs as The Big Thing. They started as a cover band but Guercio told them to start writing their own songs. The group added bassist Peter Cetera. Cetera, Kath and Lamm all sang lead. By this time, Guercio was a staff producer at Columbia Records. He signed them and moved them to Los Angeles and named them Chicago Transit Authority. Their 1969 debut album went Platinum without a hit single. The group was forced to change their name to Chicago for legal reasons. The group's albums continued to sell very well but Columbia was nagging them to have a hit single. Make Me Smile was their first top ten hit in 1970 and this was followed by 25 or 6 to 4 and Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?. Saturday In The Park is from Chicago V and reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1972. At that time, it was their biggest hit. Lamm wrote it after visiting Central Park in New York City. He sings lead along with Cetera. Chicago continued their success but by 1975, there was conflict wthin the band over Cetera's pop ballads becoming more prominent. And Guercio had worn out his welcome and they didn't want to work with him anymore. Then a devastating blow when Terry Kath accidentally shot himself and died on Jan. 23, 1978. Chicago continued but struggled until they left Columbia for Warner Bros. and met producer David Foster in 1982. He revived them as more of a standard pop group until Cetera left in 1985. You can get all of Chicago's hits on this 2CD comp. Cetera was replaced by Jason Scheff. They had a few more hits in the late 80s but have faded since then. Scheff, Lamm, Loughnane and Parazider still lead Chicago and they are one of the best selling groups of all time. Obviously they're more of a nostalgia act today. Here's Chicago performing Saturday In The Park at the Caribou Ranch in Colorado 1973.