Bruce Bendinger displays his musical chops in a CD, “Songs from the Hip,” 20 years a’borning

Indefatigable and wildly talented adman/publisher Bruce Bendinger has waited 20 years to display both a hidden talent and an ambition.

He has produced a CD of his songs called “Can’t Sing. Don’t Care. Songs from the Hip” on the local Southport label, to be introduced Aug. 26 at Katerina’s.

“As someone else who can’t sing, I realized I have the potential to be the Paris Hilton of the Baby Boomer generation?adman by day, lounge crooner by night,” said Bendinger, a former FCB creative VP, consultant, co-owner of a music company and publisher for the past 10 years.

“Twenty years ago, when I co-owned a music company, Happy Day, with Vince Ippolito and Roger Pauly and when I was at FCB working with all those wonderful music guys at the time, I’d cut a few tracks every year, although they mostly existed as master tapes in my files, he said.

“Then a few years ago, I got all that stuff digitized at Radio City where Nick Sanabria and Jim Doherty do such great work. I listened to the stuff and went, ?hey, this stuff’s not bad.'”

His unique musical observations on the CD feature observations on life, love and politics, surprising production and great performances from some of Chicago’s top studio players of the time.

“Some of the terrific musicians on the songs are Don Markese, now in L.A., plays tenor and soprano sax on a number of cuts. Mitch Hennes, now in the Caribbean, plays bass.

Roger Pauly arranged most of songs and plays keyboards on many of the tracks. Vince Ippolito played drums, did much of the production, and sings on one song which he co-wrote with Bendinger.

He talked to his friends Joanie Pallatto and Bradley Parker-Sparrow, owners of Chicago jazz label Southport, and they agreed to put Bendinger’s collection on disc.

There isn’t enough space to list Bendinger’s accomplishments, but suffice to say, the FCB creative VP created memorable campaigns at for Cheer, Pizza Hut, Sunkist and LensCrafters.

For his Popeyes’ spots, tracks were performed by Dr. John, the Neville Brothers, Fats Domino and Jerry Lee.

Back then, spring officially started with the Bendinger-hosted “April Fool Film Festival.” It basically consisted of an outrageous reel of some the worst conceived spots that thankfully did not make it to air (although, incredibly, some did) that year.

Bendinger and wife, Lorelei, head The Copy Workshop, a publishing company whose books are written in an un?textbook like style and are popular staples in universities and ad agencies.

For a complete list of Copy Workshop books authored by top advertising experts for sale, check out The CD is available at,, and

At Katerina’s, 1920 W. Irving Park, 6-9 p.m. Call 773/348-7592. Email Contact Southport Records at