Sunday, June 27, 2021

The Buckinghams to be Inducted in Illinois Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

On August 31, Illinois music fans can be part of an exciting first in classic music history. At 7pm the Rialto Square Theatre in Joliet will be the site of the inaugural Annual Hall of Fame Awards Ceremony sponsored by the Illinois Rock & Roll Museum on Route 66.

Twelve inaugural inductees include bands The Buckinghams, the band Chicago, Cheap Trick, The Ides of March, and REO Speedwagon, plus bluesmen Buddy Guy and Muddy Waters. Also to be honored are radio station WLS-AM, popular deejay Larry Lujack and the iconic Dick Biondi (Lifetime Achievement Award) legendary Chess Records, and venue The Thirsty Whale. This is the group originally identified as the Class of 2020, but COVID delayed the opening of the museum and Hall of Fame inauguration.

A concert on August 31 will feature live performances by REO Speedwagon, Ides of March, Jimy Sohns (Shadows of Knight), Muddy Waters’ son, Mud Morganfield, New Colony 6, and the Millenials. The band Chicago and The Buckinghams are slated to make video guest appearances due to touring conflicts with the event.

The entire main floor section is already sold out, but many floor seats and balcony seats remain with great stage views. Tickets are available here, starting at $33.50. If you have your tickets from last year, organizers have saved the first 13 rows at the Rialto for you as VIP attendees to make up for COVID delay. All tickets purchased in 2020 are being honored.

Organizers stated: “We sent an email to ticket holders of the originally schedule Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony regarding this announcement. We are making every attempt to notify all ticket holders that had purchased tickets to the March 2020 event of the rescheduled date & time.”

For several years, Ron Romero, Chairman of the Board of the Illinois Rock & Roll Museum on Route 66, has been relentlessly gathering support and working on creating a nonprofit organization to recognize the very best in rock, jazz, blues, and soul music talents whose beginnings to a longtime career began in Illinois.

What was once a good idea is today about to be the beginning of fan-driven input from music-lovers, musicians themselves, club owners, deejays, and others to shape the future of the organization. Romero told Patch reporter John Ferak last year that “museum membership includes music fans from Washington state, California, Florida, Texas, Kentucky, Ohio and Colorado.”

Undoubtedly some of that fan base is due to 50,000 Watts of broadcast reach from 60s rock stations WLS and WCFL, whose reach brought Chicago music to the backyards of teenagers across at least seven states and on up into Canada.

Romero’s efforts in fund-raising successfully since 2017. He pursued and enlisted the support of notables in the Chicago music scene and researched locations until locating the museum at 9 West Cass Avenue in Joliet, Illinois.

The goal is “to support local musicians, performers and others in the music industry and performing arts in the form of scholarships, donations…provide Joliet with the opportunity to benefit from revenue generation.”

According to Romero, the three-story building will ultimately house historic exhibits, a gift shop, and an online streaming radio station. Exhibits on the first floor of the museum will be open to the public. You can become a charter member starting from $35 per year; for more information click here.

Get in on the charter membership this summer, so you can say you were there from the (almost) very beginning of what will surely be something truly amazing and historic in Illinois rock and roll music. Museum members will vote on Hall of Fame inductees, so your voice will surely be heard, which is a refreshing change from ‘some’ halls of fame.