In the early sixties a little known band called Chad Allen & the Expressions emerged from the confines of stale American rock to experiment with a hot new British influence. Record executives heard the Winnipeg band with excitement but upon discovering the group was Canadian quickly ignored them. Under pressure, Quality Records eventually released a single with only the song title, “Shakin’ All Over”, and a simple moniker as to not give away the song’s roots, ‘Guess Who?’ The song soon became a hit and legends were born.
A newly named group, The Guess Who, consisting of Randy Bachman (lead guitar), Jim Kale (bass), Garry Peterson (drums) and a new member, the talented Burton Cummings (keyboards), began recording in 1966 . Burton Cummings became the lead vocalist and largely gave the band its new found identity.
The Guess Who enjoyed minimal success between 1966 and 1968, most of which came from Canadian radio stations that were still yet undecided in their support of a homegrown band in the wake of the British invasion.
Airplay in the U.S. was non-existent, which lead to four records displaying dismal sales and a jump from Quality Records to producer Jack Richardson’s newly formed label, Nimbus 9.
The label jump was The Guess Who’s moment of truth. After recording in New York in September of 1968, the band released their first gold U.S. single, “These Eyes”, which quickly reached #6 in 1969. A second album saw two singles, “Laughing” (#10) and Undun (#22) hit the charts.