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Biography

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Overview (1)

Born in Chicago, Illinois, USA

Mini Bio (1)

Lee Loughnane, a founding member and trumpet player with the rock group Chicago, was born into a musical family in Chicago, Illinois. Influenced by his father (also a trumpet player), Lee excelled at the instrument almost from the beginning, even landing a spot in the All Star Catholic High School band. He continued his education at De Paul University.

Through his friendship with guitarist Terry Kath ("We were thick as thieves"), Loughnane met drummer Danny Seraphine and woodwind player Walt Parazaider. Parazaider, trying to form a rock 'n roll band with horns, encouraged Loughnane to sit in on rehearsals. At first, the group was known as The Big Thing. Eventually, it became The Chicago Transit Authority.

Lee's role (to begin with) consisted of playing trombonist Jimmy Pankow's brass arrangements and singing background vocals. His husky voice was an asset backing the lead singers on such songs as "Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?" In time, he also managed to sing some lead--and well (e.g., "Song of the Evergreens"). His voice would have to qualify as an underutilized Chicago asset (live these days, he often sings "Wishing You Were Here" and "Happy Man," and does a great job).

As a trumpet player, he's evolved from a good one early in his career to a great one today. Initially a Getzen man, Loughnane's solos on early Chicago albums show him exhibiting a quirky, offbeat style, accented by some fancy lip slurs and an occasional foray into upper registers (some notable early work can be heard on "Beginnings," "The Approaching Storm," "Movin' In," "State of the Union," and the out-take "Sixth Sense"). Given his prowess, it must have irked Loughnane that Chicago sometimes used guest trumpet players on their albums and sessions (notably, Maynard Fergusen on "Chicago 13" and former Tower of Power players on "Chicago 17"). In mid-career, Loughnane quit smoking, took on a new teacher, and traded in his Getzen for a Claude Gordon with a big bore ("like blowing down the Holland tunnel"). With a new set of breathing exercises and a new way of tonguing, Loughnane has become a monster.

He's developed as a writer, too. Famous is the story of how Peter Cetera had to rescue Lee's composition "Call On Me" for "Chicago VII." Later Loughnane compositions include "Together Again," "This Time," and the hit "No Tell Lover." By "Hot Streets" (1978), Loughnane was entering Pankow territory by doing some brass arrangements. His skill in this regard has grown, and "Chicago: What's It Gonna Be, Santa?" (the Christmas album) features his matured skills on such great tunes as "Let It Snow," "Sleigh Ride," and "Child's Prayer" (live, Loughnane often solos on these selections, and blows the crowd away).

One of the more approachable members of the band, Loughnane has been married four times and has several children. Tall, thin, and occasionally bearded early on, Loughnane has grayed and put on some pounds recently, looking a great deal like Maynard Fergusen. He suffered a minor heart attack in the 1990s, and says he's been taking better care of himself since. In interviews, he's articulate and can be funny. By all accounts, he's a nice guy. Certainly, Kath, Robert Lamm, and Pankow received more attention in the early years--and Cetera later--but Loughnane's evolution has recently been more of a public discussion among Chicago's fans, and this certainly must please him.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: fleckwil

Trivia (3)

He played as a first motorcycle cop in the music video "Stay The Night" by Chicago.
He and Chicago were awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Recording at 6438 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California.
In addition to touring with Earth Wind & Fire, Loughnane and Chicago have recently finished recording "Chicago XXX," tentatively set for release in the spring of 2006. [September 2005]

Personal Quotes (1)

On Chicago's long career: "It has definitely been a blur at times, and along the way you miss out on some of your children's growth, and it can be hard on your wife. Or a few wives. In my case, I'm on my fourth, but it was a matter of taking a while to find the perfect mate, which I now have. Of course, I had to wait for her to get born, too, but she's not so young that I'll have to go to court or anything like that."

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