In 1969, Canada's Guess Who issued the album Canned Wheat which was a big hit in Canada and contained the ballad These Eyes which made them the first Canadian group to hit the Top 10 in the United States.
Formed in Winnipeg in 1960 under the original moniker The Silvertones, which was later changed to Chad Allen and the Expressions, the group had it's first big hit in 1965 with Shakin All Over. To create the impression they were another British invasion group the record company credited the track as performed by Guess Who? The name stuck, Chad Allen didn't and Burton Cummings replaced him. The rest as they say is history.
From 1967 to 1968, the Guess Who had an opportunity no other Canadian group could hope to match. The CBC ran a teen music show Monday thru Friday called "Let's Go". The Guess Who appeared every Thursday from 5:30-6 p.m. Canadian youngsters were exposed every week to this fabulous group from, of all places, Winnipeg. The CBC publicity shot above shows the group prior to Chad Allen's departure. Rounding out the group are co-lead singer Burton Cummings behind the organ, Randy Bachman on guitar, bassist Jim Kale and drummer Garry Peterson.
They were a fantastic cover band but Cummings and Randy Bachman quickly became the Lennon/McCartney of Canadian rock writing and performing hit after hit. Here's a latter day performance of another Canned Wheat track - Undun - apparently Randy Bachman's favourite Guess Who song and originally released as the "B" side to Laughing.
Oh, yeah, today is bassist Jim Kale's birthday! Happy birthday, Jim.