Kind Of A Drag – The Buckinghams

THIS DAY IN MUSIC…………………………………on February 18th of 1967 after a short series of minor hits, The Buckinghams score their first US Top 10 smash when “Kind Of A Drag” reaches number 1. “Kind of a Drag” was written by Jim Holvay, who was a friend of the band’s from Chicago. It is The Buckingham’s only #1 hit, although they peeked into the Top 10 twice more and charted a couple more times after that. Holvay went on to write “Don’t You Care,” “Susan” and “Hey Baby They’re Playing Our Song” for The Buckinghams. Is that a song from the late-’60s/ early-’70s with a horn section? Then odds are good it’s produced by James William Guercio. Guercio produced both early Chicago and The Buckinghams, and the latter influenced the formation of Blood Sweat & Tears. Try playing “Kind of a Drag” back-to-back with “Saturday In The Park” (Chicago) and “You’ve Made Me So Very Happy“. Meet The Buckinghams: Dennis Tufano (vocals), Carl Giammarese (guitar), Martin Grebb (keyboard), Nick Fortuna (bass), Jon Poulos (drums). The band had dissolved by 1970, but a reunion has since taken place starting in 1980, with the only two original members now being Carl and Nick. Jon Poulos died from a drug overdose in 1980. The Buckinghams had five charting hits, and they all occurred in 1967, prompting Billboard magazine to declare them “the most-listened-to band of the year.” So why did they fall off the map? In our interview with Tommy James, he explained that 1968 marked the emergence of album-oriented bands, with singles acts dying off. Said James: “When we left in August (1968, for the Democratic National Convention), all the big acts were singles acts. It was the Association, it was Gary Puckett, it was the Buckinghams, the Rascals, us. But the point was that it was almost all singles. In 90 days, when we got back, it was all albums. It was Led Zeppelin, Crosby, Stills and Nash, Blood, Sweat and Tears, Joe Cocker, Neil Young. And there was this mass extinction of all of these other acts. It was just incredible. Most people don’t realize that that was sort of the dividing line where so many of these acts never had hit records again.”