In the mid-60's I had a great weekend in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, hanging with the local musicians. That was before RANDY BACHMAN and BURTON CUMMINGS, formed a band that they called: THE GUESS WHO, in 1965. After recruiting players, Garry Peterson, Donnie McDougall and Bill Wallace, they became Winnipeg's hometown heroes. The group then scored a gig on a Canadian TV Show called: LET'S GO. That spread their popularity all across that country, and grabbed the attention of Producer Jack Richardson, who would mortgage his house to do an album with them.
The LP, titled: WHEATFIELD SOUL (Wheat was grown in that part of Canada) was picked up by RCA Records, who released the record in the U.S., driven by the 1969 single: THESE EYES, a Top 10 Hit that sold over a million pieces and was certified Gold by the RIAA. That started a string of hit singles that included: "No Time", "American Woman", "Laughing", "Undun" and "Share the Land," all produced by Richardson until they broke up in 1975.
This leads me to believe that Jack not only paid off his first mortgage, but has a Palace somewhere really nice. In 1970 Randy Bachman left the band after converting to Mormonism, which Burton Cummings wasn't comfortable with...but shed no tears for Randy, he would return to Winnepeg, meet a guy named, Fred Turner and start a band called: Bachman Turner Overdrive.
If you except Neil Young, who has spent so much time in the U.S. he isn't considered Canadian anymore, The Guess Who are considered to be the greatest musical act to come out of Canada and have been showered with awards there including the prestigious: "Governor General's Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement."
There was a lot of music to choose from for this story, (We'll get to BTO soon) but Scott selected one of their less known tunes that went #10 in 1970, and has an impressive live TV performance in color and augmented sound of the beautiful: SHARE THE LAND. @therealdonrocks
A version of this post originally appeared on The Don Rocks Facebook page. For more stories like these every day, join us on Facebook and Twitter.