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:

https://www.facebook.com/Dennistufanosings and on a website especially for fans at: https://www.tufanofans.com

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

The Buckinghams Invite You to Support The Dick Biondi Birthday Bash!

On Sunday, September 19, you’re invited to Ron Onesti’s Arcada Theatre, in St. Charles, IL, for an unforgettable special event, all in celebration of Dick Biondi’s 89th birthday. The nationally recognized DJ was on WLS-AM 890 back in the days when Chicago groups were coming to national prominence thanks to 50,000 Watts of broadcast power and the power of his outstanding promotion and that of station executives.

Filmmaker Pam Pulice, founder of The Dick Biondi Documentary, close to completion, is supporting the event, together with host Ron Onesti at the historic Arcada Theatre. Several nationally acclaimed and Chicagoland musicians from our historic concert lineup over the past six decades will be present. Some groups will be participating in a bonus VIP experience as well.

Unfortunately, The Buckinghams will not be able to be part of the VIP experience for this event, so please purchase your VIP tickets for others who indicate they will be present at 12-2 pm, but The Buckinghams are not. They will, however, be part of the full concert experience that begins at 2pm.

To check out Bruce August’s promo video click here (not the image above):

On the performing bill are:

The Buckinghams

The Ides of March

New Colony 6

Jimy Sohns of The Shadows of Knight

Felix Cavaliere’s Rascals

Rosie & The Rivets

Hall of Fame Drummer Merle Perkins

Tickets are selling well, so don't delay to get yours today. Click this link here for more info and tickets.

As always thanks to all of you who have supported this film project in the past and we welcome you to help Pam reach her goal to be able to complete the final stages of licensing and clearances for broadcast and distribution.

Happy Birthday, Dennis Tufano!

Photo courtesy of Jack Mongan

Today, all of The Buckinghams wish a very special birthday to founding member and original lead singer, Dennis Tufano. From the beginning of the band in 1965, they ultimately celebrated several birthdays together, mostly while on the road. Their schedules were so busy it’s not like they could take their special night off just because it was their birthday.

The first performances of The Buckinghams found them in matching suits, mostly acquired from "A Man at Ease" and other Chicago favorite men's stores, with Carl Bonafede working great deals for the band to advertise their couturie:

These gold dinner jackets...stylin' and profilin' to be sure, even matched the liner curtains around the stage. At the time, it was true. The matching blue-grey suits were a little more coordinated.

At that time, having "the look" was just as important as having a sound. Suits made the man, as they say, and their hair was just about to be reshaped from the greaser looks of the 60s to the Beatles' styles, courtesy of Nick Fortuna, who went to beauty school after high school, learning to be a barber (the fall-back job in case music didn't work out). Dennis had taken commercial art classes as well.

In the best days of The Buckinghams, they were known for some of the best-looking matching suits. One of their outfits came from the MGM wardrobe group. Perhaps this inspired Dennis to use his strong art talents to design other suits for the band. Ultimately, the suits Dennis designed were the most frequently photographed for PR purposes by Columbia Records.

It was one of those suits that Dennis had saved back and it made a special appearance at the Hall of Fame. Jack Mongan's photo of Dennis and the suit coat, which he donated to the Illinois Rock & Roll Museum in Joliet, Illinois, shows part of the culmination of Ron Romero's dream of many years coming to fruition thanks to numerous sponsors and enthusiastic music fans across the state and nationally. As the museum is nearing construction completion, the event took place at Joliet's beautiful Rialto Square Theatre.

The night of the induction ceremony at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Jack Mongan took some exceptional photos, which he generously shared:

The Buckinghams were well represented that evening for the inauguration of the first class in the Illinois Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

To express personal messages, reach out to Dennis on his fanpage on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/Dennistufanosings. For more information on his touring schedule, check out his official fan website at: https://www.tufanofans.com Happy birthday, Dennis!

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