About the Band

The background of the band goes back before there was a “Good Times”. Jim and John met and began playing together in 1967 in a four-piece group. Dennis was playing in a group called the “Universal Sounds”. Dennis’ dad and John’s dad worked together, and each knew about the other’s son’s musical interests. On one or two occasions John sat in with Dennis. One of those jobs was the St. Valentine’s Church dance that the band still plays, at the Legion Post in LaGrange, IL, in October, every year.

By about 1970, Jim had gone into the military and the band also lost the accordion player. We picked up Ken Pienta on trumpet, and John put the leader in touch with Dennis. That group lasted until August, 1972, when Dennis, Ken, and John decided to split off on their own. A very popular song in 1972 was “For the Good Times”. When we began thinking of a name, John suggested it to Dennis, and that was the beginning of the name.

This new band began playing the lounges in the Chicago area; Club 505, Brothers Two on Pulaski, Joe and Jean’s Lounge on 51st Street, Club Antoinette, and Le Polka Den on Diversey, etc. The Good Times recorded their first album at Bel-Aire Records in 1973 (Let the Good Times In), and were sponsored by Joe and Jean’s Lounge at the IPA Polka Convention in Milwaukee that same year.

Jim returned from the service in 1974 and the band began playing 5 piece. A second album was released in 1975 (Rolling Along With the Good Times). That was the last recording until 1993.

Except for one trip to the East Coast in 1975, and a few trips to the IPA Convention in Milwaukee, The Good Times remained a local band.

Between the mid-70’s and the late 80’s the lounge work diminished to virtually zero and the band did solely private affairs that kept them quite busy. They also developed an interesting rotational internship program with Eddie Blazonczyk and the Versatones (or Versatimes as they sometimes called them). When Jimmy left, he went with Eddie. When Bobby Zima left Eddie, he joined The Good Times. Then Jimmy came back and again went back with Eddie. Then we traded Bobby Zima for Jerry Tokarz and then Bobby again, then Roger.

Perhaps the most dramatic change took place in 1990 when Jerry Mytych and Jim Kucharski joined the band. The double clarinet sound of the Naturals Orchestra and the added bass and rhythm guitar gave us a very unique sound that seemed to appeal to a large number of people.

The Good Times returned to the double trumpet sound in January, 1999. To introduce this revived sound, the band recorded “Kick In The Brass”, released in April. Not to remain idle, this recording was immediately followed by “A Family Christmas Album”, in October.

In 2000, The Good Times recorded another CD called “For The Good Times”

We hope you find an opportunity to share some time with The Good Times in the near future! Stay tuned to our Web page for new recordings, schedules, and continuing updates. Please, help us keep the Polish tradition alive!

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