The Buckinghams — “It’s a Beautiful Day (For Lovin’)”: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — February 12, 2023


730) The Buckinghams — “It’s a Beautiful Day (For Lovin’)”

As we approach Valentine’s Day, let me play one of the Buckinghams’ (see #409, 413, 632) greatest love songs/their last charting single (albeit #126 in Sept. ’69). Jim Newsom calls it a “pleasant, optimistic-sounding pop confection[]” ( and Ben McLane calls it a “fine example[] of late 1960s polished pop” ( I call it beautiful — it deserved better than #126! Maybe if the lyrics has included a classic Chicago expression of love, Al Bundy style, it might have done better, like when Peg asked him “Al why don’t you have any pictures of me at your work?” and Al responded “Cause Peg, that would defeat the purpose of going there.”

As to the Buckinghams, Bill Dahl writes that:

Backing Dennis Tufano’s buoyant lead vocals with prominent harmonies and punchy soul-styled brass, the group came across the wistful “Kind of a Drag,” and in short order, [they] had a million-selling pop chart-topper on their hands. They quickly graduated to recording for Columbia. . . .

Rick Simmons adds that:

In 1967, Billboard magazine declared the Buckinghams to be “the most listened to band in America[.]” . . . As 1967 began, their first release, “Kind of a Drag,” was racing up the charts and would reach the #1 position by February . . . . [T]he group would have one, two, and sometimes three songs in the Top 100 almost every week that year as they passed each other on the way up and down the charts . . . .

As Tufano recalls:

[T]he Pulsations . . . was a good name considering how often we played at drag strips and car shows and things like that. We got on a “Battle of the Bands” competition on a Chicago television station and won, and so we became the house band on a TV show called All Time Hits. They asked us to change our name to something more English because the British Invasion was in full swing at the time, and we were fine with that . . . . A security guard at the station heard the request and he gave us a list with eight or 10 names on it, and the Buckinghams stood out not only because it sounded British, but also because there’s a beautiful fountain in Chicago called Buckingham Fountain. This way, we didn’t feel like we were selling out Chicago to take a British-sounding name.

But, then came ’68. Per Rick Simmons:

[T]he subsequent year would hold nothing but disappointment: in 1968 they had just one release that charted, and it wouldn’t even break into the Top 40. Then they were done. It was one of the most perplexing falls in rock ‘n’ roll history.

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