Cryan Shames

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Artist / Musician
Artist / Performer

The Cryan’ Shames 

The Cryan’ Shames were the first Chicago rock group to sign and record with a major national label, Columbia.  Their hauntingly beautiful compositions and intricate vocal harmonies helped shape the Chicago sound in the late 1960’s.

The Cryan’ Shames were originally from Hinsdale, IL.  The original lineup included Tom Doody, Gerry Stone, Dave Purple, Denny Conroy, Jim Fairs, Jim Pilster, and Bill Hughes.  When they learned another band was using their original name, they declared it a “cryan’ shame,” which became the inspiration for the new name.

Their first single, “Sugar and Spice,” was released on Destination Music and reached #49 in the U.S.  “I Wanna Meet You,” composed by guitarist Jim Fairs, reached #85 nationally.

The Cryan’ Shames signed to Columbia in 1966.  Their debut album “Sugar and Spice” reached #192 in the U.S.  A 1967 single “It Could Be We’re in Love” reached #1 in Chicago on both WLS and WCFL.

In 1967, the Cryan’ Shames shifted away from their British Invasion influences to a more California sunshine-pop flavored sound for their second album “A Scratch in the Sky.”  This album would produce two charting singles “Mr. Unreliable” and “Up on the Roof.”

In 1968 several of the key members departed including Jim Fairs.  The new lineup released their final album “Synthesis.”  The group disbanded in 1969, but have since reunited and continue to tour.

The Cryan’ Shames charted 7 singles and 3 albums.