Goodnight everyone, and have a blast of a weekend!

Every Friday night we smooth our way into the weekend with music, the universal language. These selections demonstrate that despite what is being passed off as art today, there is plenty of really good music available. Come along and enjoy.

When it comes to American pop music, no group has sold more records than Chicago, second only to The Beach Boys. The band originated in the late 1960’s and still records and tours today, more than 50 years later. During all of those years, a group co-founder Lee Loughnane was the trumpeter. He turned 76 today and this week some of his contributions to a pioneer in jazz-rock music.

Loughnane not only played trumpet and flugelhorn but he wrote songs, too.

Like this one from the 1976 album Chicago X where Loughnane also sang the lead vocal.

Chicago X reached #3 on the Billboard 200 album chart and was certified multi-platinum.

In 1978 Chicago broke with tradition on an album that did not a numbered title. If you’re keeping score this was the group’s tenth studio album (twelfth overall).

Guitarist Terry Kath accidentally shot himself at a roadie’s house while playing with a gun in January of 1978 and the group briefly considered breaking up. They brought on guitarist Donnie Dacus, albeit temporarily. Dacus did the lead vocal on this song, co-written by Loughnane.

Despite containing a few hit singles “Hot Streets” was the first Chicago album since their debut that failed to reach the US Top 10.

From 2013-14 the group produced “Chicago XXXVI: Now” that was recorded entirely on the road, using a traveling studio that Loughnane put together with engineer Tim Jessup. A copy of a political track, written by Loughnane and released on July 4, 2014, was sent to every member of Congress.

Tracks were recorded primarily in hotels but also in studios along the band’s American tour.

In 2013 Chicago released “The Nashville Sessions,” a collection of new recordings of some of their classic hits. Loughnane co-wrote.

“No Tell Lover” peaked at #14 on the Billboard chart.

From a few weeks ago:

Chicago focuses on “just about 25 songs that really work all the time, every night,” says Loughnane.

Songs that are mainstays include three songs from the 1969 debut album, Chicago Transit Authority: “Beginnings,” “Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?” The early ‘70s are well represented with “25 or 6 to 4” from 1970’s Chicago II, “Saturday in the Park” from 1972’s Chicago V and “Searching,” from 1974’s Chicago VII. For the most part, they’re Chicago’s singles that performed best at radio and MTV— with some exceptions. “Introduction” was never a hit, but “it works because it was the first song on the first album,” says Loughnane. “And it showcases everything that we do within that five-six minutes.”

That’s it for this week.


Sleep well.

Have a great weekend.

Loughnane’s very first songwriting effort for the band became a Top 10 single.

By the time I came up with an original song the band was very well established with six albums and major success. So I sort of came in with, ‘you wanna hear my song,’ very timid. I didn’t know if they wanted to do it. I didn’t think it was good enough. My personality, ‘I’m not good enough,’ and you know, ‘I’m just trying.’

Chicago in concert in Germany, 2007.

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