Classic Hits band

Progress Band

Classic Hits Band

You’d be hard-pressed to write a storyline as St. Louis-centric as that of the band Progress.

The group formed in the ’60s when its members were just teenagers, a bunch of southside school boys who’d go on a short but extremely popular run lighting up the then-competitive teen town scene. “It started out with the band playing songs like ‘My Girl,’” group co-founder Jim Mills explains. “But then the group Chicago Transit Authority came along. As you can imagine, we were very challenged by playing that music. Those guys in Chicago were so excellent.”

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St Louis Entertainment Band

The gig that truly cemented Progress’ popularity in town came via the Admiral, where the band was booked to a four-nights-a-week routine in an attempt by Streckfus Steamers to keep the ship relevant in the changing entertainment landscape of the late ’60s and early ’70s. That outfit, which operated the Admiral from 1935 until its retirement in 1979 and sale in 1981, placed a smart bet on Progress, which drew a young and enthusiastic audience.

Over time, the band not only attracted the attention of a young Steve Schankman of Contemporary Productions as its booker, it even added him as a member.

Scholastic pressures and geography eventually brought the band’s run to an end, but there’d be a reunion, then another and then even more. All it took, says co-founder and trombone player Jim Mills, was the passage of a long sabbatical of 40 years.

Schankman, of course, still has the connections to pull off a multi-band booking at the room of his choice, and it was he who booked the new Progress on packed shows alongside his own long-running act, the Fabulous Motown Revue (for which he features on trumpet).

Mills and sax player Steve Radick, who co-founded the band while walking home from school one day in 1968, could never have predicted the group would still pack ’em in 50 years later. But here they are.

Progress Band Music Video

Progress Band Song List



  • 25 or 6 to 4 – Chicago


  • Beginnings – Chicago
  • Brown Eyed Girl – Van Morrison
  • But it’s Alright – Jackson & Tubbs


  • Call on Me – Chicago
  • Colour My World – Chicago


  • Dependin’ on You – The Doobie Brothers
  • Does Anybody Know What Time It Is – Chicago


  • Eight Days a Week – Beatles


  • Feeling Stronger Every Day – Chicago


  • Got to Get You into My Life – Beatles


  • Hello It’s Me – Todd Rundgren
  • Hold on I’m Coming – Sam and Dave


  • I Still Be Diggin on James Brown – Tower of Power
  • I Wish – Stevie Wonder


  • Just You and Me – Chicago


  • Lido Shuffle – Boz Scaggs
  • Long Train Runnin – Doobie Brothers


  • Make Me Smile – Chicago
  • More Today Than Yesterday – Spiral Staircase
  • Movin In – Chicago
  • Mustang Sally – Wilson Pickett
  • My Old School – Steely Dan


  • Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da – Beatles
  • Old Days – Steely Dan
  • Old Time Rock &  Roll – Bob Seger


  • Pretzel Logic – Steely Dan


  • Question 67 or 68 – Chicago


  • Saturday in the Park – Chicago
  • Smoke From a Distant Fire – Sanford Townsend Band
  • Soul Man – Sam and Dave
  • Spinning the Wheel – Blood, Sweat, & Tears
  • Summer of 69 – Bryan Adams
  • Superstition – Stevie Wonder


  • Time


  • Vehicle – Ides of March


  • Wild Night – Van Morrison


  • You’ve Made Me So Very Happy – Blood, Sweat, & Tears

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