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James Pankow Net Worth, Biography & Wiki 2017
James Carter Pankow was born on 20 August 1947, in St. Louis, Missouri USA, of part- German and Irish descent. He is a songwriter, brass instrument player including trombone, but is best known as a founding member of the rock band Chicago.
A noted musician and songwriter, how wealthy is James Pankow? According to sources, Pankow has amassed a fortune over $20 million, as of mid-2017. His wealth has come from his involvement in music beginning in the late 1960s.
James Pankow Net Worth $20 million
Pankow’s family moved to Park Ridge, Illinois when he was eight years old, where he attended Illinois’ Notre Dame High School and Quincy College, eventually transferring to DePaul University.
He became interested in music at an early age, being influenced by his father, who was also a musician. He learned to play the trombone at elementary school, with his musical interests being encouraged in high school by Father George Wiskirchen, and went on to study the bass trombone at Quincy. However, he dropped out of college a year later, returning home to form a band and perform live local shows. Pankow eventually returned to school to complete his music education at DePaul University, joining a band called The Big Thing in 1967. Aside from Pankow on the trombone, the band also included saxophonist Walter Parazaider, guitarist Terry Kath, trumpet player Lee Loughnane, drummer Danny Seraphine and keyboardist/singer Robert Lamm. This line-up would later undergo several changes. The following year they moved to Los Angeles, California, signing with Columbia Records, and changed their name to Chicago Transit Authority. After the first album’s release, their name was shortened to Chicago.
The band went on to achieve a great success with their debut album, the 1969 “Chicago Transit Authority”, which went platinum and sold over a million copies. Pankow’s net worth began to rise. Their second release, the 1970 “Chicago II”, was another success, containing a 13-minute suite composed by Pankow called “Ballet for a Girl in Buchannon”, which spawned hits “Make Me Smile” and “Colour My World”. His wealth grew larger. The band went on to release at least one album per year by the end of the decade, scoring top 10 hits with “Free”, “Saturday in the Park”, “Dialogue (Part I & II)”, “Baby, What a Big Surprise” and “If You Leave Me Now”, winning a Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Performance by a Duo, Group or Chorus for the latter song. Extensive tours followed, and they became the leading U.S. singles charting band of that decade, significantly contributed to Pankow’s popularity and to his net worth as well.
The early ’80s saw the band going through a line-up change, and parting ways with Columbia Records. They went on to sign with Warner Bros. Records, releasing new hits such as “Hard to Say I’m Sorry/Get Away”, “You’re the Inspiration”, “Hard Habit to Break” and “Look Away”. They underwent further personnel and label changes in the ’90s, and signing with Giant Records. Few more albums followed, reaching modest success, but Pankow’s fortune continued to increase.
Signing with Rhino Records in the early 2000s, the band went on to release and perform regularly. Their most recent album came out in 2014.
Aside from being the Chicago’s trombonist, Pankow’s other major contribution to the band is his songwriting. He has written numerous compositions, including hits “Just You ‘n Me”, “Searching So Long”, “Old Days”, “Alive Again”, “Bad Advice” and “Show Me A Sign”. His writing contribution has also added to his fortune.
Chicago has been one of the longest-running, most successful and best-selling rock bands ever, having released a number of successful albums and having sold over 100 million records. Being part of such a powerful group enabled Pankow to reach stardom and to amass a sizable wealth.
Speaking about his private life, Pankow has been married twice. His first marriage was to Karen Green, lasting from 1973 to 1993; they have two children. As of 1998, he has been married to Jeanne Pacelli, with whom he also has two children.