Though the band may have been named after Chicago, the park referred to in this song is New York’s Central Park. Robert Lamm enjoyed spending the 4th of July in the park and he went on to write this song about it. It became one of Chicago’s biggest hits and it also became a song that was regularly featured in various Time Life musical compilations. Back in the day, anytime a Time Life infomercial came on TV, you knew that you were going to get this song’s chorus stuck in your head.
In one form or another, Chicago the band has been around for over 50 years. They were originally called The Big Thing before changing their name to Chicago Transit Authority. There’s an urban legend that the real CTA sued the band for copyright infringement but the official story is that the band changed their name because Chicago was a simpler name and easier to remember. By changing their name, the band allowed people to associate Chicago with something other than Mayor Daley, which undoubtedly helped to improve the city’s reputation.