2016 Global Honorary Hall of Fame Inductee


Harmony, chemistry, balance, grit, dexterity. determination. These words define the essence of Styx, the multi-megamillion-selling rock band that has forged an indelible legacy. Twins Chuck and John Panozzo, along with Dennis DeYoung worked the Chicagoarea bar circuit in the ’60’s as The Tradewinds. By 1970, the group added John Curulewski, changing their name to TW4; James “JY” Young joined a year later. TW4 signed to Wooden Nickel Records, an RCA subsidiary, and months later, changed their name to Styx, after a river in Greek mythology that ran through Hades, “the land of the dead”. Their national break came in 1975 with the single “Lady,” featuring the blaring vocal triads that are a Styx trademark. From 1977 until their breakup in 1984, every one of their album releases sold platinum or better. Hit singles included “Come Sail Away” (1977); “Fooling Yourself” and “Blue Collar Man (1978); “Babe” (1979); and “The Best of Times” and “Too Much Time on My Hands” (1981). In 1983 the group toured with a theatrical presentation of Kilroy Was Here, an anticensorship concept album. Group members went their separate ways in 1984, for a while, as DeYoung and Shaw, tried solo careers. Four members of Styx, with newcomer Glen Burtnik, released the comeback, Edge of the Century, in 1990. It’s “Show Me the Way” became a theme song during the Gulf War, and “Love at First Sight” was a Top 30 single that next spring. Shaw returned to the band when he helped re-record “Lady” for 1995’s Greatest Hits. Drummer John Panozzo developed a debilitating alcohol problem, so in 1996 Styx hired a temporary replacement for Panozzo, Todd Sucherman. Late in 1996, Panozzo died, and Sucherman became permanent. Return to Paradise was the firstever gold record for Styx’s new label, CMC International. During the sessions for 1999’s Brave New World, DeYoung developed a rare virus, which made the singer extremely sensitive to light. DeYoung was able to eventually overcome his disorder, but not before Shaw and Young opted to enlist new singer Laurence Gowan and issued a pair of live releases in the early 21st century -- 2000’s Arch Allies: Live at Riverport (Styx paired with REO Speedwagon) and 2001’s Styx World: Live 2001. The line-up continued to evolve as Burtnik returned, on bass, to replace Chuck Panozzo, who left the band due to illness. Burtnik left the clan in 2003, and there was only one name that made sense to join Styx, multi-instrumentalist Ricky Phillips. Styx current touring line-up is: Lawrence Gowan: lead vocals and keys; James “JY” Young (since 1972): lead vocals, guitars; Tommy Shaw: lead vocals, guitars; Todd Sucherman: drums, percussion; Ricky Phillips: bass guitar, vocals; and whenever possible, Chuck Panozzo: (founding member) now living with HIV, joins the band on bass and vocals. To date, the band has 32 shows booked for 2016-17, so plan to see WAMI’s 2016 Honorary Global Hall of Fame inductee when Styx performs at a venue near you.