Terrys’ Timeline

1946 Born January 31, 1946 in Chicago IL. Lived with Parents Raymond Elmer Kath, Evelyn Meline Haugen, and Brother Rod, in Norwood Park.


1965 Graduated Taft HS

Music in school, later DePaul U. Terry took up a variety of instruments in his teens, including the drums and banjo. He played bass in a number of bands in the mid-1960s, before settling on the guitar. Terrys’ first guitar was a Kay. First Bass was a Fender Jazz, followed by an Eko then a Register.

1963 Early bands

– The Mystics 1963, Jimmy Rice and the Gentlemen 1965, Jimmy Ford and the Executives, Toured with Dick Clarks roadshow, The Missing Links 1966

1967 The Big thing

Walter Parazaider, Danny Seraphine and Terry, decided to form a rock band with horns along with James Pankow, Lee Loughnane, and Robert Lamm, they added Peter Cetera on Bass. Hooked up with James William Guercio producer/manager, who urged them to move out to California.

1968 California, the band all lived in the same house, experimenting, rehearsing, and playing locally.

Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) renamed and recorded their first Album in NYC in two weeks.

Chicago: CTA shortened to, after the real CTA threatened to sue. Toured endlessly even today. Played all the Colleges and Univ.  developed a cult like following before radio picked them up and soared to greater heights.

1969 Albums:

1970 Personal life High school sweetheart Jackie Goudie, Married Pamela Robinson in 1970 Divorced in Jan 1974, Later lived with Camelia Ortiz, and had a Baby girl Michelle in May 1976.

Hobbies:  Gun collecting, fast cars, motorcycles, dogs, guitars

Homes: 1770 Grandview Glendale and 22038 Pacific coast highway Malibu Beach CA

Downfall: Drugs, Guns

1973 Films:

Electric Glide in Blue produced by JWG, Sung Title track “Tell me”

The Terry Kath Experience (2016) a Film, produced by his daughter Michelle Kath Sinclair

1977 Final show at Oakland Coliseum December 1. American Music Award and Grammy Award.

1978 Death:

Jan 23, 1978 by gunshot. 5754 Fallbrook ave Woodland Hills CA. Buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park #6681, Glendale CA

2016 Honours:

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 2016 member, Taft/DePaul Scholarship in his name, Best guitar player award 1970, ‘71 and ‘72.

Film: The Terry Kath Experience produced by Terrys’ daughter Michelle, debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival.

2020 Legacy:

On January 26, Terry was awarded a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. Terrys daughter Michelle accepted the award on his behalf.

Without Terry Kath, many believe Chicago would never have made it as far as they did.