Lifetime Achievement Award for Chicago | Sunday Observer

Lifetime Achievement Award for Chicago

9 February, 2020

“If you leave me now you’ll take away the biggest part of me

No baby please don’t go

And if you leave me now you’ll take away the very heart of me

No baby please don’t go, no I just want you to stay....

The Grammy’s honoured Chicago for their remarkable performance as a band from their debut year 1969, with the Lifetime Achievement Award at this year’s Grammy Awards. Led by Robert Lamm, Chicago burst into the global music scene setting a new trend which was soon followed by upcoming young musicians including Spyro Gyra and Jay Beckenstein.

In 1977 their hit If you Leave Me Now the opening stanza is above, sung by Peter Cetera upset many a global hit chart, sat in No. 1 position for a considerable number of weeks and won the Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group in 1977. That was not all. In 2014 their debut album Chicago Transit Authority was honoured in the Grammy Hall of Fame.

Referring to their 2020 Grammy honour Lee Loughnane a founding member commented “I want to thank the academy and all our fans for this incredible award. I think I can speak for the whole band when I say we are humbled and honoured to be the recipients of this prestigious award this year and we look forward to seeing all of you on the road in 2020”.

Robert Lamm another founding member said, “I’d like to acknowledge to our fans and friends how overwhelmed I am at their response to the Life time Achievement Award. As in every other honour the band has received, we are clear that this Award is directly attributed to you all, Thank you for ALL the years!”

When did it all begin for Chicago you might ask?

Actually in a scenario that was oozing rock ‘n roll Chicago turned the tide so to speak with their music which reflected a blend of several styles of music with classical, R+B, pop and jazz. Cynics may not have appreciated their style but Chicago succeeded in the ways it intended to. That they were able to fill arenas with enthusiastic fans there was no doubt, and their music was played constantly on the radio and was familiar to tens of millions of fans.

The original group comprised Walter Parazaider the reed player, Lee Loughnane the trumpeter, James Pankew the trombonist, Terry Kath the guitarist and drummer Danny Seraphine. Later the band included vocalist Robert Lamm and Peter Cetera singer and bassist. Chicago Transit Authority was released in April 1969 and by July reached the Top 20. In short and much to the surprise of their fans they have released 5 No. 1 albums and nearly three dozen Top 40 hits. Their record sales top the 100,000,000 mark and the band has a total of 47 gold and platinum awards. In 2019 their Christmas album Chicago Christmas produced by original band member Lee Loughnane went to No. 1 on the Billboard’s Holiday Chart. The band has two songs on the current Top 20 Holiday Chart which is very rare for one artiste. After 52 years Chicago is still earning historic chart achievements. In this new year 2020 Chicago is billed to perform over 100 shows. So need we say more. If you haven’t heard them before go on listen to their songs and you’re bound to enjoy them.