Guess Who, The

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Guess Who, The

Guess Who, The, popular Canadian rock band that also gave rise to one-time member Randy Bachman’s Bachman-Turner Overdrive. The Guess Who: Membership: Burton Cummings, lead voc., kybd., rhythm gtr. (b. Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, Dec. 31, 1947); Randy Bachman, lead gtr. (b. Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, Sept. 27, 1943); Jim Kale, bs. (b. Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, Aug. 11, 1943); Garry Peterson, drm.(b. Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, May 26, 1945). Many personnel changes beginning in 1970. Bachman-Turner Overdrive: Membership: Randy Bachman, voc., lead gtr; Tim Bachman, rhythm gtr. (b. Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada); Robbie Bachman, drm. (b. Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, Feb. 18, 1953); C. F. Turner, bs., voc. (b. Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, Oct. 16, 1943). Tim Bachman left in 1973, to be replaced by Blair Thornton (b. Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, July 23, 1950).

The Guess Who began their evolution in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, in 1962, when Chad Allan (born Allan Kobel), Randy Bachman, Bob Ashley, Jim Kale, and Garry Peterson formed the Reflections. Changing their name to Chad Allan and the Expressions in 1964, they scored a top Canadian and major U.S. hit with “Shakin’ All Over” in 1965. Burton Cummings joined the group in the summer of 1965 and Bob Ashley and Chad Allan dropped out of the group in 1966. Becoming the Guess Who, the group appeared on the Canadian television show Where It’s At in 1967, recording over a dozen Canadian singles through 1968. They secured U.S. distribution of their recordings with RCA Records in 1969 and soon scored a smash hit with the Bachman-Cummings composition “These Eyes” from their debut RCA album. Their second RCA album, Canned Wheat, yielded the two-sided hit “Laughing” /“Undun” and the smash hit “No Time/” another Bachman-Cummings collaboration.

The Guess Who became international stars with 1970’s American Woman album and top two-sided single “American Woman”/“No Sugar Tonight.” Randy Bachman left in July 1970, yet the Guess Who continued to score major hits through 1971 with “Hand Me Down World,” “Share the Land,” “Albert Flasher,“and “Rain Dance.” Experiencing a number of personnel changes, the Guess Who achieved two final hits in 1974 with “Clap for the Wolf man” (a smash) and “Dancin’ Fool.” The group disbanded in 1975.

Burton Cummings pursued a solo career in the late 1970s, managing a near- smash hit with “Stand Tall” in 1976. In 1979, Jim Kale reconstituted the Guess Who for a single album and subsequent touring. Burton Cummings and Randy Bachman toured as the Guess Who in 1987 and, by 1989, Garry Peterson had joined Kale’s edition of the Guess Who.

After leaving the Guess Who, Randy Bachman formed Brave Belt with Chad Allan. After a sole album with Allan, Brave Belt regrouped with Bachman, his brothers Tim and Robbie, and C. Fred Turner. In 1972, the group became Bachman-Turner Overdrive, replacing Tim Bachman with Blair Thornton in 1973. Signed to Mercury Records, the group scored major hits with “Let It Ride” and “Takin’ Care of Business” and a top hit with “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet” in 1974. The hits continued in 1975 with “Roll on Down the Highway” and “Hey You.” Randy Bachman departed in 1977 and the group continued to chart into 1979. Bachman formed Ironhorse, who achieved a modest hit with “Sweet Lui-Louise” in 1979. Randy and Tim Bachman regrouped with Fred Turner in 1984 for a sole album on Compleat.


The Guess Who: Sown and Grown in Canada (1971); The Guess Who Play the Guess Who (1971); Wheatfield Soul (1969); Canned Wheat Packed by the Guess Who (1969); American Woman (1970); Share the Land (1970); So Long, Bannatyne (1971); Rockiri (1972); Live at the Paramount (1972) Artificial Paradise (1973); Number 10 (1973); Road Food (1974); Flavours (1975); Power in the Music (1975); The Way We Were (1976); Lacindy (1994). BURTON CUMMINGS : Burton Cummings (1976); My Own Way to Rock (1977); Dream of a Child (1978). RAND Y BACHMAN : Axe (1970); Survivor (1978). BACHMAN - TURNER OVER-DRIVE: Bachman-Turner Overdrive (1973); Bachman-Turner Overdrive II (1973); Not Fragile (1974); Four Wheel Drive (1975); Head On (1975); King Biscuit Flower Hour Concert (1998).


Martin Melhuish, Bachman-Turner Overdrive: Rock Is My Life, This Is My Song: The Authorized Biography (Toronto, 1976).

—Brock Helander