Chicago are an American band formed in 1967; noted as one of the first rock acts with an integrated three-piece brass section. Between 1969 and 1980, they released twelve studio albums on Columbia, followed by five albums on Warner. For eleven years, they maintained the same seven members: keyboardist–singer Robert Lamm, guitarist–singer Terry Kath, bassist–singer […]

Second Coming

The Second Coming was a nine-member American brass-rock band that released a self-titled album on Mercury in 1970. Members: Jack Kramer (trumpet, bugle, trombone, background vocals), Buddy Stephens (trumpet, lead vocals), Bill Dinwiddie (trombone, percussion, background vocals), Rick Rudolph (alto saxophone, baritone saxophone, alto flute, trombone), Les King (drums, congas, percussion, timpani), Dave Miller (Hammond […]


Aorta was an American psych-rock band from Chicago that released a self-titled album on Columbia in 1969, followed by a second on Happy Tiger Records in 1970. Between 1964 and 1967, the band recorded several local-press singles as The Exceptions, adopting the name Aorta after bassist Peter Cetera left to join Chicago Transit Authority. Members: […]


Trillion was an American AOR|hard-rock band that released the 1978–80 Epic albums Trillion and Clear Approach. Members: Fergie Frederiksen (vocals, 1978-79), Thom Griffin (vocals, guitar), Frank Barbalace (guitar), Ron Anaman (bass), Patrick Leonard (keyboards), Bill Wilkins (drums) Background Trillion had its roots in Whisper, a Chicago bar band formed in 1976 with keyboardist Patrick Leonard, […]


The Pharaohs were an American jazz-funk band from Chicago that released the album Awakening on self-press Scarab Records in 1971. They were a conglomeration of local ’60s acts The Jazzmen and the Artistic Heritage Ensemble. Future Earth Wind and Fire mastermind Maurice White was an early member. Members: Charles Handy (trumpet), Louis Satterfield (trombone), Don […]

White Summer

White Summer were a Chicago-area rock trio that was active during the mid-1970s. Members: Jimmy Watkins (lead vocals, guitar, drums, percussion), Rick Lowe (electric guitar, acoustic guitar, backing vocals), David Wheeler (bass, backing vocals) In 1976, the band self-released a homonymous longplayer. Recorded on a shoestring at Uncle Dirty’s Sound Machine Studio in Kalamazoo, Mich., […]

The Impressions

The Impressions were an American soul group from Chicago, formed in 1958 and initially a singles act for Abner. Between 1963 and 1968, the band released a string of albums on ABC-Paramount, followed by a run of titles on Curtom over the subsequent eight-year period. Members: Sam Gooden (vocals), Jerry Butler (vocals, 1958-60), Curtis Mayfield […]

The Chi-Lites

The Chi-Lites were an American soul group from Chicago, formed in 1959. After a string of 1965–68 singles on Blue Rock and Revue, the group released eight albums on Brunswick between 1969 and 1975. Members: Marshall Thompson (baritone vocals, lead vocals), Robert Lester (tenor vocals, 1959-2010), Eugene Record (lead vocals, 1959-76, 1980-88), Clarence Johnson (vocals, […]

Lou Bond

Lou Bond — aka Ronald Edward Lewis (1945 — Feb. 1, 2013) — was an American soul singer/songwriter from Chicago who released a self-titled album on Stax-subsidiary We Produce Records in 1974. Discography: “Ooh, You Cheater” / “What Have I Done” (1966) “You Shake Me Up” / “Don’t Start Me Crying” (1967) Lou Bond (1974)

Loleatta Holloway

Loleatta Holloway (Nov. 5, 1946 — March 21, 2011) was an American soul singer from Chicago who released two albums on GRC-division Aware between 1973 and 1975, followed by four albums on Salsoul-subsidiary Gold Mine Records between 1976 and 1980. Loleatta Holloway was born on November 5, 1946, in Chicago, where she started singing with […]

Julian Priester

Julian Priester — aka Pepo Mtoto (June 29, 1935) — is an American trombonist from Chicago, Ill. Discography: Keep Swingin’ (1960) Spiritsville (1960) Love, Love (1974 • Julian Priester Pepo Mtoto) Polarization (1977 • Julian Priester and Marine Intrusion) Koputai (1990 • Ralph Towner, Charlie Haden, Jerry Granelli, Julian Priester, Robben Ford, Denny Goodhew & […]


Madura were an American jazz-rock trio from Chicago that released a self-titled double album on Columbia in 1971, followed by a numerically eponymous second in 1973. Bassist/keyboardist David “Hawk” Wolinski subsequently joined Rufus and became a songwriting collaborator with Chicago drummer Danny Seraphine. Members: David “Hawk” Wolinski (bass, keyboards, vocals), Alan De Carlo (guitar, vocals), […]

Herbie Hancock

Herbie Hancock (born April 12, 1940) is an American jazz keyboardist who has been musically active since the late 1950s. Hancock was born in Chicago on April 12, 1940, the middle child of government meat inspector Wayman Edward Hancock and secretary Winnie Belle. Herbie was named after singer and actor Herb Jeffries. At age seven, […]

Bangor Flying Circus

Bangor Flying Circus were an American psych-rock trio from Chicago that released a self-titled album on Dunhill in 1969. The band morphed into the jazz-rock trio Madura for two further albums during the early 1970s. Members: David “Hawk” Wolinski (bass, keyboards, vocals), Alan De Carlo (guitar, vocals), Tom Schiffour (drums, 1967-68), Michael Tegza (drums, percussion, […]

Love Craft

H.P. Lovecraft were an American psych-rock band from Chicago that released two albums with accompanying singles on Philips in 1967/68. The lineup underwent numerous changes and disbanded in San Francisco in 1968. The following year, guitarist/frontman George Edwards and drummer Michael Tegza assembled a new lineup under the abbreviated name Lovecraft, which issued the album […]


Survivor were an American hard-rock band that released seven albums on Atlantic/CBS-subsidiary Scotti Bros. Records between 1979 and 1988. Members: Frankie Sullivan (lead guitar, vocals), Jim Peterik (keyboards, guitar, vocals, 1978-88, 1993-96), Dave Bickler (lead vocals, synthesizer, 1978-83), Dennis Johnson (bass, 1978-80), Gary Smith (drums, 1978-80), Marc Droubay (drums, 1981-87, 1996-2014), Stephan Ellis (bass, 1981-87, […]


Styx are an American symphonic/hard-rock band that released four albums on Wooden Nickel between 1972 and 1974, followed by seven albums and a live double-LP on A&M between 1975 and 1984. Members: Dennis DeYoung (vocals, keyboards, accordion, 1961-99), Chuck Panozzo (bass, guitar, vocals, 1961-63, 1964-present), John Panozzo (drums, percussion, vocals, 1961-96), Tom Nardin (guitar, 1963-69), […]


Skafish were an American New Wave/art-rock band from Chicago. Members: Jim Skafish (vocals), Lawrence Mazalan (guitar, bass, vocals, 1976-80), Greg Sarchet (bass, vocals, 1976-79), Roger Jones (drums, 1976), Larry Mysliwiec (drums, percussion, 1976-85), David Prochazka (keyboards, vocals, 1976-78), Karen Winner (guitar, vocals, slide guitar, 1977-79), Mark Winner (keyboards, vocals, 1978-79), Javier Cruz (synthesizers, keyboards, vocals, […]


Shadowfax were an American jazz-rock band from Chicago that debuted with the album Watercourse Way in 1976. Members: Chuck Greenberg (Lyricon, saxophone, flute, oboe, recorder, 1972-95), Phil Maggini (bass, 1972-95), Stuart Nevitt (drums, tabla, percussion, 1972-95), Greg Stinson (guitar, sitar, vocals, 1972-90), Doug Maluchnik (keyboards), Jamii Szmadzinski (violin), Jared Stewart (keyboards), Emil Richards (percussion), David […]

Jerry Goodman

Jerry Goodman (born March 16, 1949) is an American violinist from Chicago who played in jazz-psych pioneers The Flock during the late 1960s. Between 1971 and 1973, he played in the first lineup of the Mahavishnu Orchestra, appearing on the albums The Inner Mounting Flame and Birds of Fire. Discography: Like Children (1974 • Jerry […]


Proteus were an American jazz-rock band from Chicago that was active from 1978 to 1985. In 1981, the band released the album Infinite Change on self-press Proteus International Records Inc. Members: Sergio Nespola (drums), Grant Austin (bass), Brian Zercher (keyboards), Ole Riise (guitar), Rob Williams (guitar), Tim Tobias (keyboards), Bill Dickens (bass) Discography: Infinite Change […]

John Thomas & Lifeforce

John Thomas & Lifeforce were an American jazz-rock band that released two albums in 1980/81. Members: Gunnar Plümer (bass), Stefan Kremer (drums), Ponda O’Bryan (percussion), Andy Lumpp (piano), Monika Linges (vocals), Garcia Morales (drums), Eddy Veldman (percussion) Discography: Devil Dance (1980 • John Thomas & Lifeforce) 3000 Worlds (1981 • John Thomas & Lifeforce)

The Troll

The Troll were an American pop-psych band from Chicago that released a string of 1966/67 singles as The Trolls on ABC, followed by the album Animated Music on Smash Records in 1968. Members: Richard Clark (vocals, keyboards), Richard Gallagher (vocals, guitar), Kenneth Cortese [Ken Apples] (drums), Max Jordan Jr. (vocals, bass) Discography: Animated Music (1968)

Rotary Connection

Rotary Connection were an American pop-psych/soul band from Chicago that released six albums on Cadet Concept between 1967 and 1971. Members: Mitch Aliotta (vocals, bass), Sidney Barnes (vocals), Judy Hauff (vocals), Minnie Riperton (vocals), Bobby Simms (vocals, guitar), Charles Stepney (piano, vibraphone), Phil Upchurch (guitar, bass), Ken Venegas (drums) Discography: Rotary Connection (1967) Aladdin (1968) […]


Of Wondrous Legends, also known by the acronym O.W.L. , were an American folk-psych band from Chicago that recorded an album’s worth of material in 1971. Nearly four decades later, the music was released on an eponymous CD by archivists Locust Music. Members: John Knudson (flute), Al Keeler (vibraphone, marimba, bells, percussion), Sam Larderuccio (electric […]


Coven were an American hard-rock band from Chicago that released the albums Witchcraft Destroys Minds & Reaps Souls on Mercury in 1969, followed by two further albums on MGM and Buddah between 1971 and 1974. Members: Jinx Dawson (vocals), Mike “Oz” Osborne (bass), Jim Nyeholt (organ, piano), Jim Donlinger (guitar), Chris Nielsen (guitar, vocals), Rick […]

Ides of March

The Ides of March were an American brass-rock band from Berwyn, Ill., that released two albums on Warner Bros. in 1970/71, followed by a second pair of titles on RCA Victor in 1972/73. Members: Jim Peterik (lead vocals, guitar, keyboards, saxophone), Larry Millas (keyboards, guitar, bass, organ, flute, vocals), Bob Bergland (bass, saxophone, vocals), Michael […]

The Flock

The Flock were an American jazz-rock/psych band from Chicago that released two albums on CBS/Columbia during 1969 and 1970. Members: Fred Glickstein (guitar, vocals), Ron Karpman (drums, vocals), Jerry Smith (bass, vocals), Rick Canoff (saxophone, vocals, 1966-70), Rick Mann (guitar, vocals, 1966-68), Frank Posa (trumpet, 1967-70), Tom Webb (saxophone, flute, harmonica, vocals, 1967-70), Jerry Goodman […]

The Electric Flag

The Electric Flag was an American brass-rock band that debuted with a soundtrack recording for the 1967 counterculture film The Trip, followed by two albums on Columbia in 1968 and a third studio release on Atlantic in 1974. Members: Nick Gravenites (vocals, guitar), Buddy Miles (drums, percussion), Mike Bloomfield (guitar, percussion, 1967-68, 1974), Barry Goldberg […]

The Southside Movement

The Southside Movement were an American soul-funk band from Chicago that issued a self-titled album on Wand in 1973, followed by two 1974/75 albums on 20th Century Records. Members: Melvin Moore (vocals), Bobby Pointer (guitar), Morris Beeks (keyboards), Ronald Simmons (bass), Willie Hayes (drums), Milton Johnson (alto saxophone), Stephen Hawkins (trumpet), Bill McFarland (trombone) Discography: […]


Rufus were an American soul-funk band from Chicago that released six albums on ABC Records between 1973 and 1978, followed by three further titles on MCA at the turn of the 1980s. Most of the band’s releases give featured status to vocalist Chaka Khan. Members: Kevin Murphy (keyboards), Al Ciner (guitar, 1969-73), Chuck Colbert (vocals, […]

Rasputin’s Stash

Rasputin’s Stash were an American soul-funk band from Chicago that released a self-titled album on Cotillion in 1971, followed by The Devil Made Me Do It on Gemigo in 1974. Members: Paul Coleman (keyboards, vocals), Bruce Butler (bass, vocals), Ernest Frank Donaldson (drums, percussion), Martin L. Dumas Jr (lead guitar, rhythm guitar, vocals), Wardell Peel […]


Lowrell Simon (March 18, 1943 — June 19, 2018) was an American singer and songwriter from Chicago who first emerged as a member of soul act The Vondells during the mid-1960s. Between 1970 and 1972, he released two albums on Brunswick with smooth-soul foursome The Lost Generation. As a solo artist, he issued a soul-funk […]

Scott Wilk + The Walls

Scott Wilk + The Walls were an American New Wave band from Chicago that released a self-titled album on Warner Bros. in 1980. Singer/keyboardist Wilk subsequently teamed with Icelandic keyboardist Jakob Magnússon and Magic Band-drummer Robert Williams for a 1983 mini-LP as Bone Symphony. Wilk also played on ’80s-era albums by Charlie Sexton, Peter McIan, […]

Gabriel Bondage

Gabriel Bondage was an American post-psych band from Chicago that released the album Angel Dust on local-press Dharma in 1975, followed by Another Trip to Earth in 1977. Members: Rex Bundy (lead vocals, guitar, 12-string guitar, drums, piano, effects) Tony Stram (vocals, bass, keyboards, programming), Larry Biernacki (vocals, guitar, mandolin), Bill Wisniewski (lead vocals, backing […]

Gil Scott-Heron

Gil Scott-Heron (April 1, 1949 — May 27, 2011) was an American soul singer from Chicago. Discography: Small Talk at 125th and Lenox (live, 1970) Pieces of a Man (1971) Free Will (1972) Winter in America (1974 • Gil Scott-Heron/Brian Jackson) From South Africa to South Carolina (1975 • Gil Scott-Heron and Brian Jackson) Midnight […]

The Five Stairsteps

The Five Stairsteps were an American soul group from Chicago. Members: Alohe Burke, Clarence Burke Jr., James Burke, Dennis Burke, Keni Burke, Cubie Burke Discography: The Five Stairsteps (1967) Love’s Happening (1968 • 5 Stairsteps & Cubie) Our Family Portrait (1968 • The 5 Stairsteps & Cubie) Stairsteps (1970 • Stairsteps) Stairsteps (1971 • Stairsteps) […]

Donny Hathaway

Donny Hathaway (Oct. 1, 1945 — Jan. 13, 1979) was an American soul singer from Chicago. Discography: Everything Is Everything (1970) Donny Hathaway (1971) Come Back, Charleston Blue (OST, 1972) Live (1972) Roberta Flack & Donny Hathaway (1972 • Roberta Flack & Donny Hathaway) Extension of a Man (1973) Roberta Flack Featuring Donny Hathaway (1980 […]

Jack DeJohnette

Jack DeJohnette (born Aug. 9, 1942) is an American avant-jazz/funk drummer, pianist, and composer from Chicago. Discography: The DeJohnette Complex (1969) Ruta and Daitya (1973 • Keith Jarrett & Jack DeJohnette) Sorcery (1974) Cosmic Chicken (1975) Gateway (1975 • John Abercrombie, Dave Holland & Jack DeJohnette) Untitled (1976 • Jack DeJohnette’s Directions) Gateway 2 (1977 […]

Earth, Wind & Fire

Earth, Wind & Fire are an American jazz-funk/soul band from Chicago that launched with two albums on Warner Bros. in 1971, followed by 11 studio albums and a live double-LP on Columbia between 1972 and 1983. Members: Maurice White (vocals, kalimba, percussion, 1969-2016), Wade Flemons (keyboards, vocals, 1969-72), Don Whitehead (keyboards, 1969-72), Verdine White (bass, […]

Johnny Pate

Johnny Pate (born Dec. 5, 1923) is an American jazz-funk/soul bassist, producer, and arranger from Chicago Heights. Discography: Subtle Sounds (1956) Jazz Goes Ivy League (1958 • Johnnie Pate Trio Plus Three) Set a Pattern (1968) Outrageous (1970) Brother on the Run (OST, 1973) Shaft: Hit-Run (1973) Shaft in Africa (OST, 1973) Bucktown (OST, 1975) […]

The Awakening

The Awakening were an American spiritual-jazz ensemble from Chicago that released two albums on the Black Jazz label in 1972 and 1973. Members: Ken Chaney (electric piano, piano, whistle, bells), Frank Gordon (trumpet, flugelhorn), Richard Ari Brown (tenor saxophone, flute), Arlington Davis, Jr. (drums, whistle, bells), Steve Galloway (trombone, whistle, bells), Reggie Willis (bass) Discography: […]

Tony Williams

Tony Williams — aka Tillmon Anthony Williams (Dec. 12, 1945 — Feb. 23, 1997) — was an American post-bop/jazz-funk drummer from Chicago. Discography: Life Time (1965 • Anthony Williams) Spring (1966 • Anthony Williams) Emergency! (1969 • The Tony Williams Lifetime) Turn It Over (1970 • The Tony Williams Lifetime) Ego (1971 • The Tony […]

Peter Brown

Peter Brown is an American singer, musician, songwriter, and producer who released the 1977–79 disco-funk albums Do You Wanna Get Funky With Me and Stargazer on TK–Drive and scored a 1978 Top 10 hit with “Dance with Me.” He co-wrote Madonna’s 1985 chart-topper “Material Girl.” Brown was born on July 11, 1953, in Blue Island, […]


McLuhan were an American symphonic/jazz-rock band that released the album Anomaly on Brunswick in 1972. Members: David Wright (trumpet, vocals, narration, slide whistle), Paul Cohn (flute, clarinet, tenor saxophone, flute), Neal Rosner (bass guitar, lead vocals), John Mahoney (drums, vocals), Micahael Linn (drums), Dennis Stoney Philips (guitar, vocals), Tom ‘Tojza’ Laney (organ, piano, vocals), Bobby […]

The Cryan’ Shames

The Cryan’ Shames were an American garage-rock band that released three 1966–68 albums on Columbia. Their first two singles, “I Wanna Meet You” and the (Searchers cover) “Sugar and Spice,” were Top 5 hits in the Chicago area. Guitarist–keyboardist Isaac Guillory later backed Al Stewart and joined the international jazz-funk ensemble Pacific Eardrum. Members: Tom […]

The Buckinghams

The Buckinghams were an American pop-rock band that released multiple 1966–67 singles on the Chicago-based U.S.A. Records label, including the 1967 Billboard No. 1 “Kind of a Drag.” On Columbia, they released three albums and scored further hits with “Don’t You Care,” “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy,” and “Hey Baby (They’re Playing Our Song).” They were an […]