In 1967 Chicago natives Walt Parazaider, Terry Kath and Danny Seraphine, joined James Pankow from St. Louis and Lee Loughnane and Robert Lamm both from Brooklyn, New York to form a rock and roll band with horns and named it The Big Thing. They soon recruited Peter Cetera and Jim Guercio, who was by this time a producer for CBS Records. Guercio got them signed to the label and suggested a name change to The Chicago Transit Authority.
In 1969 they released their first album, “The Chicago Transit Authority,” which was an immediate hit with FM rock radio and went gold without releasing a single. The following year they released “Chicago II.” introducing the band to Top 40 radio with “Make Me Smile”, “25 Or 6 To 4” and “Does Anybody Know What Time It Is” entering the top ten of the Hit Parade in 1970. “Beginnings” backed by “Color My World,” and then “Questions 67 and 68” each became hits in 1971. In 1972, the group released Chicago V, which contained the top five single hit “Saturday In The Park.” Chicago VI was released in 1973 and spawned the hits “Feeling Stronger Every Day” and “Just You N’ Me”. In 1974, “(I’ve Been) Searchin’ So Long,” “Call On Me,” and “Wishing You Were Here” continued their hit streak.
In 1975, “Old Days” landed on the Hit Parade, followed a year later with the bands first number one hit single “If You Leave Me Now,” with “Baby What a Big Surprise” going gold in 1977. “Hard to Say I’m Sorry,” in 1982, “Hard Habit to Break” and “You’re the Inspiration” in 1984, “Will You Still Love Me” in 1986, “I Don’t Want to Live Without Your Love” and “Look Away” in 1988 and “What Kind of Man Would I Be” with “You’re Not Alone” both million selling singles in 1989.
Terry Kath died in 1978 at just 31 years of age of an accidentally self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Chicago has sold an estimated 120 million albums worldwide with fifty singles on the Hit Parade, twenty of them gold. The band gathered a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1992 and was inducted into the Hit Parade Hall of Fame in 2008.