This will make me smile

Readers know how I feel about the band Chicago.

I mentioned here last week while compiling my own list of Chicago favorites that Chicago had two concerts next week, in Madison Sunday and in Appleton Tuesday.

I have three tickets to Sunday night’s show. I will be going for the fourth time, after the Dane County Coliseum in Madison in 1987, the Fond du Lac County Fairgrounds in 1997, and the EAA in Oshkosh in 2010. The house trumpet and trombone player will be going for their first time.

As you can imagine, I’m pretty amped about this. So maybe some concert music is appropriate here:


The best of Chicago (according to me)

Over the last year between the 50th anniversary of Chicago’s forming and its first album, “Chicago Transit Authority,” various music publications have come out with their definition of the top songs in Chicago history.

Between that and Chicago’s upcoming appearances in Madison May 12 and Appleton May 14, I figured I’d create my own list, based only on my own musical preferences (so note the paucity of ballads, even though some people mistakenly believe Chicago does nothing but ballads) and nothing else. (Which, you might notice, are generally based on how the song sounds, not the words or whatever message the song is intended to have.)

First, the less-than-top-10, not necessarily in order of enjoyment:

Number 10 is arguably Chicago’s first song — the first track from their first album:

Number nine is from the ’80s:

Number eight is from their first album, CTA for short:

Number seven is the first Chicago song I remember being a Chicago song:

Number six is from “Hot Streets”:

Number five comes from “Chicago III”:

Number four …

… and number three come from CTA:

Number two, from “Chicago II,” is a song about writing a song:

And number one …

… and, well, number 1A …

… since “Make Me Smile” and “Now More Than Ever” are the first and last movements of “Ballet for a Girl from Buchannon.” (“Colour My World” was in our wedding.)




This makes me smile

As I wrote here last week, I have practically overdosed on high school and college sports on the radio this winter.

Last week, I announced six games. The previous week, I announced five games and then an entire day of high school wrestling.

I thought I was done with high school sports, until I was assigned to do something I have never done before — an Illinois high school boys supersectional game between East Dubuque and Chicago’s Providence–St. Mel, which you can hear yourself at 5:45 Central time on

While doing a little research on East Dubuque’s opponent, I found a list of Providence–St. Mel’s famous alumni, which includes Lee Loughname, trumpet player for my favorite rock group, Chicago.

As you can imagine, this news does …

… and makes me think of other songs of Chicago’s that have been used as sports bumpers, or should have been:

Presty the DJ for Jan. 23

Today’s first item comes from the Stupid Laws File: Today in 1956, Ohio youths younger than 18 were banned from dancing in public unless accompanied by an adult, the result of enforcing a law that dated back to 1931.

The number one single today in 1965:

The number one British single today in 1971 was the first number one by a singer from his previous group:

Today in 1977, Patti Smith broke a vertebra after falling off the stage at her concert in Tampa, Fla.

Continue reading “Presty the DJ for Jan. 23”

Presty the DJ for Dec. 27

Today in 1963, the London Times’ music critics named John Lennon and Paul McCartney Outstanding Composers of 1963. Two days later, Sunday Times music critic Richard Buckle named Lennon and McCartney “the greatest composers since Beethoven.”

The number one album today in 1969 was “Led Zeppelin II” …

… the same day that the number one single was this group’s last:

Continue reading “Presty the DJ for Dec. 27”

Presty the DJ for Dec. 20

The number one British album today in 1969 was the Rolling Stones’ “Let It Bleed”:

The number one British single today in 1980 came 12 days after its singer’s death:

The number one song today in 1986:

The number one album today in 1975 for the second consecutive week was “Chicago IX,” which was actually “Chicago’s Greatest Hits”:

Continue reading “Presty the DJ for Dec. 20”

Presty the DJ for Dec. 13

Today in 1961, this was the first country song to sell more than $1 million:

The number one single today in 1962:

The number one single today in 1970 (which sounded like it had been recorded using 1770 technology):

The number one album today in 1975 was “Chicago IX,” which was actually “Chicago’s Greatest Hits”:

Continue reading “Presty the DJ for Dec. 13”

Presty the DJ for Oct. 23

The number one song today in 1961 told the previous week’s number one, Ray Charles, to hit the road, Jack:

A horrible irony today in 1964: A plane carrying all four members of the group Buddy and the Kings crashed, killing everyone on board. Buddy and the Kings was led by Harold Box, who replaced Buddy Holly with the Crickets after Holly died in a plane crash in 1959:

Today in 1976, Chicago had its first number one single, which some would consider the start of its downward slope to sappy ballads:

Continue reading “Presty the DJ for Oct. 23”