The Guess Who
the band that became Canada’s first international rock music superstars, began in 1962 in Winnipeg as Chad Allen & the Reflections. Including members Randy Bachman (guitar), Jim Kale (bass) and Garry Peterson (drums), Chad Allen and the Reflections had become Chad Allen and the Expressions by the time they recorded a cover of ‘Shakin’ All Over’ released by Quality Records in 1965. The song was a #1 single in Canada and reached #22 in America. Burton Cummings joined the group that same year, replacing the keyboard player and sharing lead vocals.
In 1968, the first single, ‘These Eyes,’ reached #1 in Canada, earning the band a U.S. contract with RCA Records. Heralded as the beginning of the Canadian Invasion, ‘These Eyes’ reached #3 in America in 1969 with total sales of more than one million copies. Their second album for RCA, Canned Wheat Packed by The Guess Who, also released in 1968, contained the Top 10 hits ‘Laughing’ (the B-Side of ‘These Eyes’) and ‘No Time’ as well as Top 40 hit ‘Undun.’
Ironically it was ‘American Woman’ from March of 1970 that gave The Guess Who a #1 single in the U.S., unseating The Beatles for three weeks straight. The Top 10 album, also entitled American Woman contained the hits ‘No Sugar Tonight/New Mother Nature’ (the B-Side of ‘American Woman’). It was during the peak of this success that Randy Bachman decided to leave the band (replaced by guitarists Kurt Winter and Greg Leskiw) and formed Bachman Turner Overdrive shortly thereafter.Over the next few years the group continued to chart with the singles ‘Albert Flasher,’ ‘Rain Dance’ and ‘Clap for the Wolfman,’ which reached #6, and the album Greatest Hits. After 10 years with the band, Burton Cummings left in 1975 to pursue a successful solo career; the band appeared together when they were inducted into the Canadian Recording Arts & Sciences (CARAS) Hall of Fame in 1987.