Going to Chicago… (Count Basie)

While it’s fair to say that many of the chief practitioners of Sunshine Pop were centred in California, it’s also apparent that the genre could be better defined by its period of dominance (ie. ~1965-1970).  For this pair of tracks we migrate to the Windy City… Chicago.

Track Five

After scoring two major hits by mourning the loss of love (Kind of a Drag and Don’t You Care),  The Buckinghams took a decidedly more upbeat approach with their next success, Hey Baby (They’re Playing Our Song).  It reached #12 on the Billboard Charts in 1967 and can be found on the band’s Portraits album, an interesting mix of pop confection and experimentation.  Listen for the signature horn section… producer James William Guercio would later hone the sound (as producer) on the early Chicago albums.

The Buckinghams... a portrait from Portraits
The Buckinghams… a portrait from Portraits

Track Six

Cryan’ Shames… where have I heard that name before?  Think back to Obscurity #2.  From the same (underrated) album, A Scratch in the Sky,  their song, It Could Be We’re in Love, reached #85 on the Billboard charts in ’67.

The band
The band circa 1967

These two groups were part of a bigger “Chicago sound” which had a significant impact on the sixties and on the Sunshine Pop genre.  Because WCFL (out of Chicago) was one of my favourite radio stations during my formative years, I had lots of opportunity to hear and appreciate these bands.  If you’d like to hear more about the music from the Chicago area during this period, the brief (about 30 minutes) retrospective below gives a good overview… check it out.


Speaking of overviews and retrospectives, our eldest (Chris) has assembled a rather substantial collection of recordings (mostly his own compositions).  You might want to pay it/him a visit…



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