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TODAY IN POP MUSIC HISTORY — HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO CHICAGO’S WALT PARAZAIDER

The Outsiders, the Grass Roots and Blood, Sweat And Tears were among the earliest rock groups to include a noticeable brass-filled sound.

 
The group that began as The Real Thing…and the Chicago Transit Authority…took that brassy sound to a level never reached before. 
 
Sax player Walt Parazaider of Chicago turns 72 Tuesday. 
 
The list of achievements for Chicago are endless, but here’s a few…
 
Over 50 hits and at least 30 albums dating back to 1969. A #1 single for a calendar year (“Look Away,” 1989) and two more #1’s with “If You Leave Me Now” and “Hard To Say I’m Sorry.” Nearly 40 million albums sold according to the RIAA (Record Industry Association of America).
 
Of all those 50 or so hits, here’s my favorite by Chicago…

 
 
 
Meanwhile, when it comes to endings, NOTHING tops this cut from “Chicago II”…

“Poem For The People” brings back a super great memory for me. During my first radio job at WDMP (Dodgeville/Mineral Point, Wisconsin) in 1984, I played the song as part of the station’s “The Other Music” half-hour show. Beforehand, I mentioned to the late Dick Carroll, the station GM, that since he was a big band fan, that I thought he’d enjoy the ending to “Poem For The People.” He listened to that ending…and my hunch was right. He loved it.