In 1967, the airwaves were brimming with the Buckingham’s latest tunes. Television audiences saw them on the Ed Sullivan Show, The Smother’s Brothers Comedy Hour, The Jerry Lewis Show, The Joey Bishop Show, and American Bandstand. The release of their first single “Kind of a Drag” rocketed to #1 in the U.S. Cash Box Magazine named them “The Most Promising Vocal Group” in America.
In 1965, members of the rock group the Centuries joined the Pulsations and secured a job as the house band on WGN-TV’s variety show called “All-Time Hits.” Members of the band included Carl Giammarese, Dennis Tufano, Marty Grebb, John Poulos, and Nick Fortuna. The show’s producers suggested they call themselves The Buckinghams, a name reflective of the British Invasion which was dominating American radio at the time.
“Kind of a Drag” was written by Chicago-based songwriter Jim Holvay and was recorded at Chess Records in Chicago with horn arrangements provided by Frank Tesinsky helping them establish their horn-driven rock sound. The single sold over one million copies and got the attention of Columbia Records who signed the group to a contract.
They would produce four more Top 20 hits in 1967: “Don’t You Care” (#6), “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy” (#5), “Hey Baby (They’re Playing Our Song” (#12), and “Susan” (# 11).
That same year Billboard Magazine named them “The Most Listened to Band in America.” The Buckinghams charted 10 singles and continue to perform to this day.