The Buckinghams are a veteran sunshine pop/rock band with a polished, horn-infused sound that became famous during the late 1960s and were one of 1967's top selling acts. They are best known for the lovelorn "Kind Of A Drag" (1966), the soulful "Don't You Care" (1967), a sung remake of Cannonball Adderley's "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy" (1967), the upbeat "Hey Baby (They're Playing Our Song)" (1967), and the enigmatic "Susan" (1967) which features a brief psychedelic interlude taken from Charles Ives' "Central Park In The Dark."
Formed in 1966 in Chicago, Illinois by members of The Pulsations and other local bands, the original hitmaking lineup consisted of Dennis Tufano (lead singer), Carl Giammarese (guitar), Nick Fortuna (bass), Dennis Miccolis (keyboards), and drummer John Poulos (March 31, 1947 - March 26, 1980), with a number of personnel changes that included the replacement of Miccolis by Marty Grebb (September 2, 1945 - January 1, 2020) in late 1966. The Buckinghams landed their first contract with USA Records before moving to Columbia in 1967. Most of the band's biggest hits were produced by James Guercio who also became well known for his work with such horn rock bands as Chicago and Blood, Sweat & Tears.
The Buckinghams debuted in 1966 with a cover of James Brown's "I'll Go Crazy." After several more minor hits, the band's fame took off in late 1966 with the Jim Holvay-penned "Kind Of A Drag," which topped the Billboard Hot 100 the following year and became their greatest hit and a million-seller. Their popularity continued to soar in 1967 with "Don't You Care," "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy," "Hey Baby (They're Playing Our Song)," and "Susan," which all made the Pop/Rock Top 20. The band's other hits also include a remake of Lloyd Price's "Lawdy Miss Claudy" (1967) and "Back In Love Again" (1968), and their final charting song came in 1969 with "It's A Beautiful Day (For Lovin')."
After The Buckinghams disbanded in 1970, Dennis Tufano and Carl Giammarese went on to record as the duo, Tufano & Giammarese (of "Music Everywhere" (1973) fame), and Tufano has performed solo since the early 1980s. The Buckinghams reformed in 1980 and have continued to perform and record to the present day. The current lineup is a quintet that includes two original members, Carl Giammarese and Nick Fortuna.
- For more info about The Buckinghams, both past and present, visit thebuckinghams.com.
- Ultimate Classic Rock remembers Marty Grebb.
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- Don't You Care 1967
- Hey Baby (They're Playing Our Song) 1967
- Kind Of A Drag 1966
(This song topped the charts.)
- Mercy, Mercy, Mercy 1967
(This song also became a hit in 1967 for Cannonball Adderley (instrumental version), Marlena Shaw, and Larry Williams & Johnny Watson.)
- Susan 1967
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