Another artist which got their start in the 60's, the Guess Who continued right where they left off in the early part of the Seventies. Make no mistake--add in their 60's music and the Guess Who are one of The Top 100 Artists of the Rock Era*.
The band from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada got their start in 1958 as Al and the Silvertones. Back then, they were led by guitarist and lead singer Chad Allen, (though he was long gone by the time they struck it big). Guitarist Randy Bachman, bassist Jim Kale, drummer Garry Peterson and keyboardist Bob Ashley joined to make up Chad Allan & the Reflections in 1962. They signed a recording contract with Quality Records and released several singles the next few years, but they were only regional hits.
When the Reflections scored a hit with "Just Like Romeo & Juliet", the band changed its name to Chad Allan & the Expressions so as not to be confused with that group. Allan was around for the group's first hit, "Shakin' All Over" in 1965. Quality Records billed the group only as Guess Who?, because to that point, Canadian radio stations shied away from playing Canadian artists. It is uncertain how much the marketing ploy worked, but in any case, it forced the group to rename themselves as the Guess Who. Burton Cummings replaced Ashley on keyboards and shared lead vocals with Allan, but Allen left shortly afterwards.
The group continued to enjoy some success in their native Canada. You can have a talented group of musicians with great songs, but more often than not, you need someone who strongly believes in you in order to make it. You not only need moral support, but you need a good strong backer. The group had one in producer Jack Richardson. He believed so strongly in the group that he mortgaged his house to finance the band's recordings in 1968, which would result in their breakthrough album Wheatfield Soul.
Wheatfield Soul contained the group's first big hit, "These Eyes". "Laughing" and "Undun" followed, and the Guess Who were major players by the time the 70's kicked in.
The Guess Who re-recorded "No Time" for the album (it had been originally included on their 1969 album Canned Wheat.) "No Time" reached #5, and gave the group their second Canadian #1 (after "Laughing").
The group released the album American Woman in 1970. The title song went to #1 for three weeks, making the Guess Who the first Canadian group in history to attain that position in the United States in the Rock Era. "American Woman" sold over one million copies to become one of the biggest hits of the year, and is still one of The Top 500 Songs of the Rock Era*.
"No Sugar Tonight" was part of the huge double-sided hit with "American Woman", and on the radio, is often heard with "New Mother Nature".
Bachman had converted to the Mormon religion, and differences in musical direction between he and Cummings led Bachman to leave after one final show at the Fillmore East in New York City on May 16, 1970. Bachman of course went on to form Bachman-Turner Overdrive, whom we heard at #94.
The Guess Who released the single "Hand Me Down World", which reached #17.
New recordings were shelved (later released as the album The Way They Were). Fellow Winnipeggers Kurt Winter and Greg Leskiw replaced Bachman in the Guess Who. Winter took on songwriting duties with Cummings, and the group didn't miss a beat. The Guess Who released the album Share The Land later in the year, and the title song gave them another Top 10 hit.
"Share The Land" gave the Guess Who five Top 20 hits in one year, and the group were by now household names. "Bus Rider" was a pretty good "B" side on "Share The Land", and received quite a bit of airplay as well.
"Hang On To Your Life" only peaked at #43, but is another song worth featuring for the group in this special.
The Guess Who then released a non-album single, "Albert Flasher", which peaked at #29, another underrated song.
Later in the year, the group released the album So Long, Bannatyne. The Guess Who were recording memorable songs, but success wasn't coming as easy as it did the year before. Most fans of the period loved "Rain Dance", even though it only peaked at #19.
Leskiw left the Guess Who, replaced by Don McDougall. In 1972, the band recorded "Live at the Paramount" at the Paramount Theatre in Seattle. But longtime bassist Jim Kale left as well, with Bill Wallace coming in to replace him. The Guess Who then embarked on a tour of Australia, New Zealand, and Japan with Three Dog Night.
Three studio albums and eight singles followed before the Guess Who could score another big hit. Even "Star Baby", the single from their 1974 album Road Ode, stalled at #39. It was yet another quality song from the group that was underrated.
Cummings, Wallace and Winter wrote "Clap For The Wolfman", an homage to famous disc jockey Wolfman Jack, who recorded his voice on the track. "Clap For The Wolfman" reached #6, officially the first Top 10 for the Guess Who since "No Sugar Tonight" in 1970.
Another underrated song followed, as "Dancin' Fool" only reached position #28.
Domenic Troiano became the new lead guitarist as both McDougall and Winter left in June of 1974. Cummings, the leader of the group, then decided to leave and pursue a solo career, and the Guess Who broke up in October, 1975.
The Guess Who scored 17 hits in the decade, 5 of which went Top 10, including the double-sided #1 "American Woman"/"No Sugar Tonight".
The classic lineup of the Guess Who has reunited several times, and a form of the group led by bassist Jim Kale still exists today.
1952: 26 year-old Chuck Berry was hired as a guitarist in Johnnie Johnson's band playing evening gigs in St. Louis, Missouri. Berry kept his job as a hairdresser for the next three years.
1959: The Quarrymen changed their name to Johnny and the Moondogs. 1960: The Drifters took the #1 spot on the R&B chart with "Save The Last Dance For Me". 1960: The Drifters moved up to #1 overall with "Save The Last Dance For Me".
1962: The movie Girls! Girls! Girls! starring Elvis Presley premiered in Honolulu, Hawai'i. (Note: numerous websites show the premiere date as November 2, however 'Turner Classic Movies' and all the Elvis Presley fan sites show the premiere as October 31.) 1963: The Beatles returned to London after a successful tour of Sweden and were greeted by hundreds of screaming fans and a group of photographers and members of the media. Ed Sullivan happened to be at Heathrow Airport at the time and was struck by the mania. He decided to look into getting the group on his show. 1963: Gerry and the Pacemakers had the top U.K. song--"You'll Never Walk Alone". 1964: Bob Dylan gave a Halloween performance at the Philharmonic Hall in New York City, televised on CBS. 1964: People gave Barbra Streisand her first #1 album, finally toppling the Beatles' A Hard day's Night after 14 weeks. 1964: "We'll Sing In The Sunshine" by Gale Garnett was the #1 Easy Listening song for the sixth straight week. 1964: "Baby Love" earned the Supremes a #1 R&B hit.
1964: The Supremes scored their second #1 with "Baby Love". That replaced "Do Wah Diddy Diddy" by Manfred Mann while "Last Kiss" held on to #3 for J. Frank Wilson & the Cavaliers. "We'll Sing In The Sunshine" from Gale Garnett remained fourth. The rest of the Top 10: "Dancing In The Street" by Martha & the Vandellas dropped after peaking at #2, "Let It Be Me" from Betty Everett & Jerry Butler was #6, the Honeycombs moved up with "Have I The Right?", Roy Orbison's all-time classic "Oh Pretty Woman" was on its way down, a great new song from the Hondells--"Little Honda" entered the Top 10 and Roger Miller was at #10 with "Chug-A-Lug". 1965: The Mindbenders fired lead singer Wayne Fontana. 1970: Michelle Phillips of the Mamas and Papas married actor Dennis Hopper but unfortunately, it only lasted eight days. 1970: Motown Chartbusters Volume 4 was the top album in the U.K. 1970: Led Zeppelin III moved to #1 in only its second week on the Album chart. 1970: "I'll Be There" by the Jackson 5 was #1 on the R&B chart for the fourth straight week.
1970: The hot new group the Carpenters continued to set the pace on the Easy Listening chart for a fourth week with "We've Only Just Begun". Combined with their initial hit "Close To You", it gave the duo their 10th week at #1 for the year.
1970: The Jackson 5 continued to own the top song for the third week with "I'll Be There". 1974: Led Zeppelin officially launched off their Swan Song recording label with a party at the Chislehust Caves in Kent, England. Swan Song was named after an unreleased instrumental that Zeppelin had written. 1975: The Marshall Tucker Band performed at a fund-raiser for Democratic presidential contender Jimmy Carter. 1977: Stevie Wonder released the amazing single "As" from the album Songs in the Key of Life.
1978: Olivia Newton-John released the single "A Little More Love". 1981: The Human League's Dare was the #1 U.K. album.
Fogelberg remained in the spotlight...
1981: The Rolling Stones held on to the #1 album for a seventh week with Tattoo You. Journey's Escape was a solid #2 with Nine Tonight, the new Bob Seger album, third. 4 by Foreigner was #4, Bella Donna from Stevie Nicks remained at #5 and Dan Fogelberg's excellent double album The Innocent Age was sixth. The rest of the Top 10: The Police moved from 16 to 7 with Ghost in the Machine, Songs in the Attic by Billy Joel was #8, Pat Benatar's Precious Time came in at #9 and Private Eyes entered the Top 10 for Hall & Oates. 1981: Two stars of two of the hottest groups of the Rock Era combined for one amazing record. Don Henley and Stevie Nicks moved from 73 to 50 with "Leather And Lace".
Springfield made a return visit to the Top 10...
1981: Once again, Christopher Cross had the #1 song for a third week with "Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do)". The Rolling Stones had one of their only big hits of the 1980's--"Start Me Up" while Hall & Oates were up to 3 with "Private Eyes". Sheena Easton had the honor of singing the title from the James Bond movie For Your Eyes Only. The rest of the Top 10: Diana Ross & Lionel Richie's "Endless Love", Bob Seger entered the Top 10 with "Tryin' To Live My Life Without You", Dan Fogelberg had a smash with "Hard To Say", the Little River Band was at #8 with "The Night Owls", Rick Springfield was rockin' with "I've Done Everything For You" and Eddie Rabbitt moved backwards with "Step By Step". 1987: According to Forbes Magazine, Bruce Springsteen was third among entertainers with $56 million earned the previous year. Madonna was seventh ($47M) and Whitney Houston was eighth with $44M. 1987: Tango in the Night by Fleetwood Mac was the #1 album in the U.K. 1987: "Bad" by Michael Jackson held on to #1 on the R&B chart for the third consecutive week. Idol remakes James & the Shondells...
1987: Michael Jackson spent a second week at #1 with "Bad". Madonna was in the mix with her 15th career hit and amazingly, her 14th consecutive Top 10--"Causing A Commotion". Tiffany was up with her remake of the great Tommy James & the Shondells hit "I Think We're Alone Now" and Billy Idol was at #4 with his remake of Tommy James & The Shondells' "Mony Mony". The rest of the Top 10: Levert with "Casanova", Fleetwood Mac was up to #6 with "Little Lies", Expose's third straight Top 10 to open their career was at #7--"Let Me Be The One", Prince & Sheena Easton with "U (sic) Got The Look", Swing Out Sister bolted into the Top 10 with "Breakout" and Bruce Springsteen landed his 10th Top 10 with "Brilliant Disguise". 1988: Taylor Dayne released the single "Don't Rush Me". 1992: AC/DC, En Vogue, the Black Crowes, Ozzy Osbourne and Slaughter performed at the Halloween Jam at Universal Studios on ABC-TV. 1992: Boyz II Men ruled the U.K. chart with "End Of The Road". 1992: Bon Jovi had a fast-rising song as "Keep The Faith" moved from 76 to 39.
Newcomers P.M. Dawn...
1992: Boyz II Men, who had broken the existing Rock Era record the week before with 11 weeks at #1, made it 12 with "End Of The Road". Don Henley & Patty Smyth scored a sixth week at #2 with "Sometimes Love Just Ain't Enough". Newcomer PM Dawn had a hot song with "I'd Die Without You" and the Heights were at #4 with "How Do You Talk To An Angel". The rest of the Top 10: Madonna's "Erotica", House of Pain with "Jump Around", Hi-Five remained stuck with "She's Playing Hard To Get", En Vogue's "Free Your Mind" jumped into the Top 10, Snap! was up from 16 to 9 with "Rhythm Is A Dancer" and Arrested Development slipped down with "People Everyday". 1992: Michael W. Smith's great song "I Will Be Here For You" was the new #1 on the Easy Listening chart. 1993: In today's episode of Dangerous Inmates Run Rap Music, loser Tupac Shakur was arrested for shooting two off-duty Atlanta policemen.
1998: Kiss and the Smashing Pumpkins performed at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California.
1998: Cher debuted at #1 in the U.K. with "Believe".
1999: Bryan White sang the U.S. National Anthem at the Adelphia Coliseum in Nashville, Tennessee.
2000: Outkast released the album Stankonia.
2003: Cher was named the year's top female on tour by Billboard Magazine as her Farewell tour grossed $145 million and attracted 2.2 million fans to over 200 concerts. 2003: Jane's Addiction played a surprise concert outside the Brixton Academy in London. 2004: In Part Two of Inmates Run Rap Music, Murphy Lee was arrested and charged with marijuana possession and DUI in St. Louis, Missouri. 2004: And rappers weren't just doing what they do best (get arrested) but suing each other. R. Kelly sued Jay-Z for $75 million for breach of contract after being thrown off their current tour.
2004: Wyclef Jean met with community and gang leaders in Haiti in an attempt to stop violence in that country. 2004: Ja Rule, R. Kelly and Ashanti combined for the #1 song in the U.K. with "Wonderful". 2004: Robbie Williams had the top U.K. album with Greatest Hits. 2004: Rod Stewart had the #1 U.S. album with Stardust. 2005: The white suit worn by John Lennon on the Abbey Road album cover sold for $118,000 at an auction in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Born This Day: 1941: Erik Griffiths, original guitarist of the Quarrymen who left the group in 1958, was born in Denbigh, North Wales; died January 29, 2005 at his home in Edinburgh, Scotland. 1945: Glen Ballard, who was the lead singer for Argent, was born in Waltham Cross, England. 1945: Rik Kenton of Roxy Music 1956: Tony Bowers of Simply Red
1961: Larry Mullen Jr., drummer with U2, was born in Dublin, Ireland. 1963: Johnny Marr, guitarist with the Smiths, was born in Ardwick, Manchester, England. 1963: Mikkey Dee, drummer and songwriter of Motorhead, was born in Gothenburg, Sweden. 1965: Annabella Lwin of Bow Wow Wow ("I Want Candy") was born in Rangoon, Burma. 1966: Adam Horovitz of the Beastie Boys was born in Manhattan, New York. (Note: many websites claim he was born in South Orange, New Jersey, but Horovitz has denied this in interviews.) 1967: Vanilla Ice (real name: Robert Van Winkle) was born in Dallas, Texas. (Note: several websites report his birthplace as Miami. According to Vanilla himself, he was born in Dallas and grew up in Miami. Several sites also report his birthday as 1968. According to the booking agency Richard De La Font, Ice was born in 1967.) 1968: Alistair McErlaine, guitarist of the group Texas, was born in Glasgow, Scotland. 1970: Linn Berggren of Ace of Base was born in Gothenburg, Sweden. 1980: Charles Moniz, bassist for April Lavigne 1981: Frank Anthony Iero, rhythm guitarist of My Chemical Romance, was born in Belleville, New Jersey.