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Buckinghams/symphony show tonight at Amador


Walkup tickets are still available at Amador Live for tonight’s concert featuring 1960s pop group the Buckinghams with Lonnie Klein leading an accompanying symphony orchestra.

“Everybody knows the songs,” said Klein, who retired in 2021 after 21 years as director of the Las Cruces Symphony Orchestra.

Those songs include “Kind of a Drag,” the Buckinghams’ No. 1 hit in in 1967; “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy;” “Don’t You Care;” “Susan;” “Hey, Baby, They’re Playing Our Song;” “Lawdy Miss Claudy;” and more.

The Buckinghams, including original band members Carl Giammarese and Nick Fortuna, will be perform those classics and more than a dozen other songs, accompanied by a 35-piece orchestra led by Las Klein.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, June 8, and the concert should start around 7:45 p.m. at Amador Live, 302 S. Main St.

“I love performing,” Giammarese told the Bulletin. “I am so grateful that we have such great audiences that still come out to shows. The big thing is the memories it brings to people,” Giammarese said from his Chicago home. “There’s nothing more fun than concerts where you go out afterwards and sign autographs and everybody’s got a story: ‘You know, when you guys recorded this song, I had just met my girlfriend,’ or ‘she just broke up with me.’ To know you were a part of the fabric of their lives; it’s a great feeling. That’s what our concerts are all about. We do our hits. We do a lot of pop songs from that era.”

Giammarese said The Buckinghams concerts also attract a lot of younger people “that can appreciate your music, music buffs or know about it from their parents or grandparents. I think we can relate to them. We’re a five-piece rock band with horns. The kids today can appreciate it,” he said.

“We were known for creating the pop rock horn sound – a trombone-driven horn sound,” Giammarese said. “That sound pretty much continued with the group Chicago. We were friends with those guys when they were a house band in Chicago (called) The Big Thing,” he said, helping them get signed with Columbia Records.

Giammarese said his favorite Buckinghams song is “Don’t You Care.”

“That’s great with an orchestra,” he said.

Tickets are $35.