In 1967 America many high school age kids were forming rock bands. Almost every band had an organist playing the Farfisa Mini-Compact, and that organist loved to play the classic solo from “Kind of a Drag.” The song was written by Chicago-based guitarist-songwriter James Holvay. The record was produced in the Sunshine Pop style, characterized by warm sounds, prominent vocal harmonies, and sophisticated productions. Other groups known for the Sunshine Pop style were The Turtles, The Mamas & the Papas, and The Association.
Although it was released on a little-known label (that is, USA Records), “Kind of a Drag” reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1967 and stayed there for two weeks. It sold more than million copies and was awarded an RIAA Gold Record. It is The Buckingham’s only #1 hit, although two of their later songs were in the Top 10 — “Mercy Mercy Mercy” reached #5 and “Don’t You Care” was #6.
“Kind of a Drag” was produced by the band’s first personal manager Carl Bonafede and big band leader Dan Belloc. The arranger of the horn sound was Frank Tesinsky. The engineer at the first recording sessions held at Chess Records in Chicago was Ron Malo.
The Buckinghams were Dennis Tufano (vocals), Carl Giammarese (guitar), Martin Grebb (keyboard), Nick Fortune (bass), Jon Paulos (drums).