JEFF FEST takes Buckinghams back to their early days in Jefferson Park
by BRIAN NADIG
Pop legend The Buckinghams will be returning to their roots on Saturday, Aug. 5, when band members hit the main stage at JEFF FEST at 5:45 p.m. at Jefferson Memorial Park, near Higgins and Milwaukee avenues.
In the 1960s the band played at the Holiday Ballroom in Downtown Jefferson Park. The dance hall was demolished in the late 1980s to make way for the Veterans Square 10-story retail and office complex.
The ballroom’s owner, Dan Belloc, was a co-producer on one of the band’s early records. In 1967 Chicago’s USA Records released The Buckingham’s “Kind of a Drag,” and it became the band’s first #1 single.
More hits followed: “Susan,” “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy,” “Don’t You Care,” “Lawdy Miss Clawdy,” “Back In Love Again” and “Hey Baby, They’re Playing Our Song.”
The band broke up in 1970 but re-united in 1980 to play at Mayor Jane Byrne’s “Chicago Fest” and has played at Jeff Fest on several occasions, with band members recalling fond memories of the early shows at the Holiday Ballroom, which was located less than a block from where the band will be performing on Aug. 5.
Admission is $5 for adults and $2 for seniors age 65 and older. Children age 12 and under are free if accompanied by an adult. Proceeds benefit the Jefferson Park Chamber of Commerce, which sponsors the festival.
The festival runs the weekend of Aug. 4-6. The park is located less than a block from the Jefferson Park Transit Center, where Metra and Blue Line trains and CTA/PACE buses operate. Other bands performing include 16 Candles, Covergurl, Generation, 97Nine, Stache and School of Rock.
More information is available at jeffersonpark.net. Sponsorship and vendor space is available by calling Chicago Events at 773-868-3010.