Legendary Chicago to rock the fair


DARKE COUNTY — The band Chicago, and this year’s fair headliner, was inducted this year into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. According to original band member and trombonist Jimmy Pankow, it’s way more than they could have ever imagined.

“We are basically blessed,” Pankow said. “It has gone way beyond dreams and expectations that we could have ever had. To think that songs we wrote and recorded would now become timeless, we never would have guessed. We’re approaching a half century now.”

The band is in its 49th year of making music.

As far as fan involvement goes, Jimmy said, “people still get thrilled to death remembering where they were when they first heard a song or who they were with. We are so lucky to be able to put food on the table doing something we love to do. Thank you to the man upstairs and to the fans who make us possible.”

From Chicago Transit Authority, Chicago I, 1969, to “Now,” Chicago XXXVI, 2014, spans the range of their musical work.

Growing up, one could always tell if a new song was a Chicago song, but why? Just what makes Chicago so special? It’s the style.

“Style is everything…When we were first starting out I heard how powerful and the soulfulness of the band immediately…When I arrange horns I decided to create a style that’s unique. I approached the horn section as a main character, another vocal, melodic and opens the song. Our music also features multiple vocalists and are about everyday life and real people,” explained Pankow.

Chicago has earned a number of awards through the years. They include a Grammy Award, several American Music Awards, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, a street in the City of Chicago dedicated to them and honors from various cities across the country.

The band has sold over 100 million records; has had 21 Top 10 singles, five consecutive No. 1 albums, 11 No. 1 singles and five Gold singles. Of the band’s 36 albums, 25 have gone platinum.

The band’s roster includes four original members: Robert Lamm, keyboards and vocals; Lee Loughnane, trumpet and vocals; Jimmy Pankow, trombone; and Walt Parazaider, woodwinds. The rest of the group consists of Jason Scheff, bass and vocals; Tris Imboden, drums; Keith Howland, guitar and vocals; Lou Pardini, keyboards and vocals and Walfredo Reyes Jr. on percussion.

Chicago has toured every year since its inception.

“Every night is just like the first night you ever took the stage. Great audiences are everywhere. It’s not where you are, but who you are with…We’re not going through the motions. We’re performing at as high a level as we ever have,” Pankow said of the Darke County Fair performance.

Chicago will perform at the grandstand on Sunday, Aug. 21 at 8 p.m.

The legendary band Chicago will take the stage at the Great Darke County Fair on Sunday, Aug. 21.
https://www.dailyadvocate.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/web1_Chicagoskyline2.jpgThe legendary band Chicago will take the stage at the Great Darke County Fair on Sunday, Aug. 21.

By Tim Alley

For The Daily Advocate

Past concerts

1980 Donna Fargo

1981 Barbara Mandrell

1982 The Statler Brothers

1983 The Charlie Daniel’s Band

1984 Mickey Gilly, Louise Mandrell, & Boxcar Willie

1985 Crystal Gayle, Exile, & Mark Wade

1986 Atlanta

1987 Variety Show – Local Talent

1988 Phil Dirt & The Dozers

1989 Barbara Mandrell & Royce Elliott

1990 Ray Stevens, Patty Lovelace, & Andy Andrews

1991 Loretta Lynn & Andy Andrews

1992 Sandi Patty & Mark Lowery

1993 Tanya Tucker & Paul Lennon

1994 Little Texas, Ronnie McDowell, & John Bressler

1995 Confederate Railroad & Ken Mellows

1996 Diamond Rio & Ty England

1997 4-Him & Point of Grace

1998 Sawyer Brown

1999 Tracy Byrd & Linda Davis

2000 Avalon, Rebecca St. James, New Song,

& Big Tent Revival

2001 Sammy Kershaw & Lorrie Morgan

2002 Lonestar

2003 George Jones & The Jones Boys

2004 Kenny Rogers

2005 Beach Boys

2006 Craig Morgan – Neal McCoy

2007 Josh Gracin – Terri Clark

2008 Reo Speedwagon

2009 STYX

2010 Lady Antebellum / Justin Moore

2011 Rodney Atkins

2012 Foreigner

2013 Montgomery Gentry / Florida Georgia Line

2014 Josh Turner / Scotty McCreery

2015 Hunter Hayes

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