- by PLSN Staff
CHICAGO — Buddy Sokolick, longtime head of the production department for Jam Productions in Chicago, where he supported artists including Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi and Amy Grant, among others, died Oct. 13 after a long illness. He was 60. Sokolick began his career as a stagehand at the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago and quickly rose through the ranks to become a production manager for Jam Productions. In 1987, he became head of the production department at Jam, where he stayed for most of his career.
“Whether it was corporate show or a stadium show or a theater show, acts would look forward to the stops on their tour, where Buddy was the local producer,” recalled Charlie Hernandez, 2012 Parnelli Lifetime Achievement honoree and founder of the charitable organization, Just a Bunch of Roadies.
“They knew that first thing they would see in the morning was Buddy’s smiling face, and they knew that whatever happened during the day, Buddy would take care of it.”
Hernandez also recalled that “Buddy was an avid race car owner and fan, ever since his father first took him to his first Indianapolis 500 race,” noting that Sokolick was “a fixture at the race every year.”
“There was no one better at his craft than Buddy,” noted Ron Stern, who hired Sokolick at the Aragon Ballroom and, later, at Jam Productions. “I always told him he had one flaw. He was too nice a guy. I also told him he could not change that nice guy part of him, so that is also his strength.
“Let us all remember the nicest guy in our industry, Buddy Sokolick,” Stern concluded.
Sokolick is survived his wife, Michele; his mother, Sylvia; and his brother Robert. A wake will be held Tues. Oct. 18 from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Smith Corcoran Funeral Home, 6150 North Cicero Ave. in Chicago. The family requests that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Chicago Ridge Animal Welfare League or to The Humane Society in Buddy's honor and memory.