With a mainstream-friendly rock sound that embraces elements of pop, blues and psychedelia, The Guess Who were an exemplary band of the 1960s and 1970s, one that maintained success on tour and in the recording studio well into this century. Bona fide megastars in their home country of Canada, The Guess Who also garnered considerable fame stateside and internationally with their biggest hits "American Woman," "Laughing" and "These Eyes." A contemporary tour brings the best of a two-dozen album repertoire and a polished sound honed over decades of live performances to generations of classic rock fans.
The Guess Who's history
The original lineup (Chad Allan, Randy Bachman, Jim Kale, Bob Ashley and Gary Peterson) came together in Winnipeg, Canada, in 1965, performing in its earlier incarnations under the names The Silvertones, Chad Allan and the Reflections, and Chad Allan and the Expressions.
The band had its first hit with a cover of "Shakin' All Over" by Johnny Kidd and the Pirates, which soared to No. 1 in Canada and No. 22 in the United States. An album of the same name was credited to "Guess Who?" with the idea of creating intrigue, and resulted in the band renaming itself The Guess Who. In the late 1960s The Guess Who had Top 40 singles in Canada with "Clock on the Wall" and "His Girl," and their first major US hit followed in 1969 with "These Eyes" from the album Wheatfield Soul. Bolstered by the single, the album sold over a million copies. The follow-up, 1969's Canned Wheat, produced three Top 40 singles including the double-sided hit "Laughing"/"Undun."
The Guess Who's career milestones
A career peak for The Guess Who came with 1970's "American Woman," their first and only No. 1 hit in the United States. The single was also notable as the first No. 1 on the US Hot 100 chart by a Canadian group. The band embraced a harder rock sound for their American Woman album, and continued to maintain their popularity with "Share the Land" reaching the Top 10, and 1971's The Best of The Guess Who being certified gold. The following year's Live at the Paramount was also well-received. The hits kept coming for The Guess Who throughout the 1970s, with "Clap for the Wolfman" charting at No. 4 in Canada and No. 6 in the United States.
The Guess Who disbanded in 1975, reformed in 1977 and has continued to tour (albeit with changing lineups) ever since. The band was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1987, and honored with a star on Canada's Walk of Fame in 2001. Randy Bachman, Burton Cummings, Garry Peterson, Donnie McDougall and Bill Wallace received the Governor General's Performing Arts Award for lifetime artistic achievement (the highest honor in performing arts in Canada) in 2002 for their work in The Guess Who. Another recent highlight for the band was playing at the 2003 Molson Canadian Rocks for Toronto SARS benefit concert in front of an estimated 450,000 people. It is still the largest ticketed outdoor event in Canadian history.