Sunday, April 06, 2014

Make Me Smile

I recently responded to a post made by fellow blogger ~Coach entitled "I Have So Much to Say." I posted the lyrics of a song by the group Chicago -- "So Much to Say, So Much to Give." What significance does this song have? It is part of one of the best rock compositions of all time.

Chicago trombone player Jimmy Pankow is the man who wrote the song, one of seven songs of his suite "Ballet for a Girl in Buchannon," which appeared on Chicago's second album, Chicago II. The suite was inspired by a girl in Buckhannon, West Virginia. Yes -- the spelling of the song title is funky.

A little side note: Jimmy Pankow attended (for one year) the same college I attended as an undergrad. In taking a Music Appreciation class for my fine arts general education requirement, I was interested to hear one of the music professor's take on Pankow. "Jimmy wasn't the greatest trombone player in the world. I told him that his strength is in composition," related music instructor and demi-god Charles Winking. I don't know about the trombone assessment, but Pankow's strength certainly is composition.

The suite is anchored by the hit Make Me Smile and includes the tender song Colour My World, which served as a prom theme in high schools throughout the United States.

The following clip of Chicago is from 1970. It is difficult for me to imagine a better combination of composition and musicianship. Chicago was never the same after the death of soulful singer and guitar player Terry Kath.

Amazingly, the group Chicago still performs today, with keyboard player Robert Lamm and the entire original brass section (Lee Loughnane, Walt Parazaider and Jimmy Pankow) still intact. They played a FREE concert in Bloomington, Illinois earlier this year for those affected by central Illinois tornadoes. Yes, I went to the concert, and yes -- they made me and others smile!



Blogger ~Coach said...

Again, great recall Lightning. Feats like that will get you in my blog... :P Thanks for the mention, and for making the connection!

11:31 PM  
Blogger KenP said...

It interesting how the passion for poker blogging has revealed so much about other passions after poker went to hell.

6:34 AM  
Blogger lightning36 said...

The writing for this post was poor as almost a day went by from idea to actual writing. However, as you have pointed out in the past, it is clear to see when I have passion for topics. Pop/rock music of the 1960's and 1970's has always been one of my favorite interests.

Perhaps if we start to experience a little more of that freedom that we in the USA brag about ...

8:15 AM  
Blogger Memphis MOJO said...

I saw Chicago when they came to SIU back in the 70s. Concert was at the SIU Arena with a rotating stage. I think they called it music in the round or something like that. Good memories, thanks for the post.

1:57 PM  

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