Burton Cummings started his rock and roll career in Winnipeg as a teenager with The Devrons. When Bob Ashley and Chad Allan left the The Guess Who in 1966 Cummings was asked to join as keyboardist and vocalist.
Wanting to shake their earlier ‘British Invasion’ sound, The Guess Who began experimenting with psychedelic and garage sounds filtered north from Minneapolis. They soon began recording there. Eventually, one of the their Minneapolis songs “His Girl” reached England which resulted in interest from Tony Hiller at Mills Music who negotiated a contract with King Records in the U.K.
The song, a minor hit in Canada, was remixed and made the Top 20 in England. The band immediately cancelled 6 months worth of gigs and went to England for a tour. King had their course set out for them including where the money went, royalties and retainers and as a result were broke before they began. After one album the Guess Who walked out on King Records.
Burton Cummings, born in Winnipeg in 1947, played with the Devrons before joining the Guess Who as lead vocalist in 1965. Cummings spent ten years with that band, but left for a solo career, releasing a self-titled album in 1976. The single, “Stand Tall,” sold over a million copies. He has also released My Own Way to Rock (1977), Dream of a Child (1978), Woman Love (1980), Sweet Sweet (1981) and Plus Signs (1990).