Saturday, September 11, 2021

Happy Birthday, Dennis Tufano

A Special Message from Carl:

“Today, all of The Buckinghams wish a very special birthday to founding member and original lead singer, Dennis Tufano. But today especially, I’m remembering all the birthdays we celebrated together in the early days, mostly while on the road. Our schedules were so busy it’s not like we could take our special night off. In fact, as I recall, we spent more holidays on the road away from home and families, particularly from 1966-1968 when we were booked for 300 dates a year."

"On August 31, at the actual ceremony for the Inaugural Class at the Rialto Theatre in Joliet, IL, Dennis represented The Buckinghams in accepting the award for our being inducted into the Illinois Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It was hard to miss joining him for the event as we were performing in Hillside, IL, that night."

Continuing, he said, "Harder still, though, was it to realize that Jon-Jon and Marty were not present with us physically, but were there in spirit. As Dennis pointed out, they are always with us in our hearts. It’s a profound time for all of us, as we keep celebrating these birthdays. While we still feel very young in our hearts, those of us here continue to give thanks for every day of good health. Still, we have our memories."

After The Buckinghams broke up in 1970, Carl and Dennis joined forces and became a duo, aptly titled “Dennis and Carl”…easy to remember, easy to spell. They wrote songs together and they were strongly encouraged to pursue their performing and recording talents. They played acoustic guitars, had a soft, folk rock sound, and their voices blended well.

Former Buckinghams tour manager Peter Shelton and Bonnie Herman, his wife at the time, helped produce some preliminary demo tracks in hopes of finding them a label to produce an album for Dennis and Carl. That early belief in their talents as individuals and duos was so important back then. Peter, an accomplished photographer, even took promo photos of “Dennis and Carl.”

The duo had a close resemblance to brothers, as photos show. Except that Dennis would be the brother who could grow facial hair (His 5 o'clock shadow would arrive at 2 pm, and Carl couldn't buy chin stubble if he tried). It was also in the heyday of long hair, and while Dennis' grew in length, Carl's grew in height and width.

Above 4 photos and video below by Peter Shelton

During Peter’s retirement years, he returned to the UK and made this video of one of their early tracks along with b/w photographs that he took of the duo back then. Peter Shelton wrote several books, including “Rock-n-Roll Fever.”

When John Poulos got the duo a deal with Lou Adler’s Ode Records, the Grammy-winning producer rebranded the duo as “Tufano & Giammarese” (because it was so Easy to remember? Easy to spell? Easy to pronounce? One of those!) and the duo recorded three albums that were released.

The front and back covers are mirror images as a clever statement. One possible concept for this cover was to capture a similar vibe for Emerson, Lake, & Palmer's 1972 "Trilogy" album.

Sample songs that were popular at the time include: "Here We Are," written by Dennis Tufano

"Communicate," written by Dennis Tufano

"You're the One," written by Carl Giammarese

Dennis and Carl, renamed Tufano & Giammarese, performed on several tours, including opening for soft rock favorites, Bread, then the...unique pairing of Cheech and Chong...and then, they had one of the best and most synchronous pairings as the opening act for the R&B-heavy show band, The MOB. Two of the primary members of The MOB were, in fact, James Holvay and Gary Beisbier, wrote or cowrote six of The Buckinghams' songs that charted first in Chicago, then nationally. For one night only, May 22, 1976, that was history in the making at the club called B. Ginnings, a popular venue in Schaumburg at the time. By 1977, Dennis and Carl would eventually go their own ways to pursue different goals.

Dennis’ songwriting talents continued beyond Tufano & Giammarese. As just one example, he was a cowriter on many songs with Bernie Taupin and others on Bernie’s 1980 release, “He Who Rides The Tiger,” which can be found on YouTube. Watch at the link below:

Today, Dennis continues touring, and his schedule can be found on his official Facebook fan page here: and on a website especially for fans at:

Happy birthday, Dennis, and best wishes for the year ahead.

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