By Britt Bickel

As the nation prepares to celebrate America’s independence with picnics, BBQs, lighting sparklers, and topping the off the night by ‘oooing’ and ‘awing’ at a spectacular fireworks display, we’re showing off our patriotism by taking a look at classic bands that celebrate America!

Check out five historic bands with monikers that show off their pride for the red, white and blue as we celebrate 4th of July!

1. America — The most obvious tribute to America, the folk-rock group composed of Gerry Beckley, Dewey Bunnell and Dan Peek named their trio after their homeland they never visited much due to travel.

Forming the band as teens, the three members were all born in military families with British mothers and US fathers stationed at theĀ  United States Air Force base at RAF West Ruislip, London. They eventually made their way back to America where the topped the charts with hits like “Horse With No Name” and “Sister Golden Hair.”

2. The Eagles — With the bald eagle being the nation’s official bird and symbol for freedom, L.A. based group The Eagles chose the strong sounding all-American name to leave a lasting impression in music.

It certainly worked for the group, who flew high to the top with five #1 singles, six Grammys and six #1 albums making them one of the most successful bands of the ’70s and one of the most iconic American groups for over four decades.

3. Chicago — Formed in, you guessed it, Chicago, Illinois, this massive self-described “rock and roll band with horns” paid homage to their hometown with their band name. First performing as The Big Thing, Chicago later changed their name to Chicago Transit Authority, but shortened it to the one-word moniker we know today after the real CTA threatened legal action.

They were the leading U.S. singles and charting group of the ’70s with five #1 albums and 21 top ten hits, including their 4th of July favorite “Saturday In The Park.”

4. Orleans — Despite their band name referencing the Mardi Gras capital of the world, Orleans actually formed in Woodstock, New York by guitarist John Hall, singer Larry Hoppen and drummer Wells Kelly in ’72. Their high-energy, feel good hits like “Still The One” and “Dance With Me” charted in the top ten, launching them to popularity with the American public.

But it was Orleans’ guitarist John Hall who really showed off his red, white and blue pride after he ran for a U.S. Congressional seat in 2006 and was elected to the US House of Representatives for the state of New York and later reelected in 2008.

5. Buffalo Springfield — At first their name conjures images of the free-roaming buffalo in the American Mid-West as pioneers trekked across the treacherous territory to discover more land, but the origin of Buffalo Springfield’s name is little simpler than that.

Taking their name from the side of a steamroller (made by Buffalo-Springfield Roller Company) parked outside producer Barry Friedman’s house where Stephen Stills and Richie Furay were staying, the folk-rock trio later made their debut at The Troubadour in Hollywood.

Even though their time was short, Buffalo Springfield was one of the most influential groups of the ’60s with their hard-hitting political anthems that helped spark change in America.

Honorable mentions courtesy of K-EARTH 101 Listeners:

  • Gary U.S. Bonds
  • Paul Revere and the Raiders
  • Boston
  • Grand Funk Railroad
  • Freedom
  • Bruce Springsteen
  • All American Rejects

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