From Winnipeg, Manitoba, The Guess Who in their heyday were Burton Cummings (lead vocals, keyboards, guitar, flute), Randy Bachman (guitar), Jim Kale (bass), and Garry Peterson (drums). A hit in Canada long before coming south, they were the first Canadian band to have a #1 on Billboard‘s “Hot 100” (since The Crewcuts’ “Sh-Boom” in 1954) with “American Woman.” from the 1969 album of the same name. Randy Bachman left the group in 1970, and was replaced by Kurt Winter and Greg Leskiw (Randy’s kind of a big guy). The group disbanded in 1975, reunited to close the Pan-American Games in 1999, and today Peterson and Kale own the name, are playing a few dates a year, and have a record planned.
Their music combined blues, jazz, and rock, gradually morphing into harder rock and progressive. These two songs were from the 1969-70 period. The first, “These Eyes” was their first hit in the US, released in January 1969. It was certified gold by the RIAA later that year. The second, “Undun,” never charted; it was from their American Woman album and has a definite jazzy flavor. This is a 1983 live performance, so it’s a little different from the record; I chose it because I like it better than the album.
The Guess Who: your Two for Tuesday, August 14.