Burton Cummings

What do you do after a Super-Group disbands?
The Guess Who

By Gary: I am just an old Rock and Roller, so tonight I will look at a Canadian who is 7 years younger, a little more arrogant, but extremely talented and at 65 is still just blowing the walls out.  His career as a single was moderately successful, but when he hooked up with the man from British Columbia, Randy Bachman, they were unstoppable.

I do believe in 1969 “the Guess Who” out sold the Beatles. He has, in my opinion, one the best voices for Rock and Roll that I have heard.  You would think he would be slowing down, but that does not appear to be the case. 

When he was on his own he recorded some fantastic music, but it was not as popular in U.S. as here.  So let’s take a look at the Hard Rockin’ Winnipeg boy.  This will chronicle the paths of both Randy and Burton after the Guess Who had gone the separate ways and as most of them do, their reunion.

Burton Cummings
Break it to Them Gently / 1999 /
My own way to Rock / Chicago 1977 /

2010 /
2015 / Casino Rama Orillia Ontario / No Sugar Tonight /
2010 / Live Massey Hall Toronto / My own way to Rock /
Burton with Randy from the CBC Special / Timeless Love and Break it to them Gently /
1983 Concert from Toronto with the entire Group together again/
How good was this Rock Band? Well in 2004 the Guess Who reunited and went back to Winnipeg during a Thunder Storm /
In Moncton New Brunswick he sang Stand Tall and it had been 25 years since he had sung the song in concert / 2011 he was 64 at the time /



Now these are the Songs I enjoy from Burton as a single:

Stand Tall / Portrait 70001 / November 1976 / #10 BB #1 Canada
Fine State of Affairs / 1980 (Gary’s Favourite, I love the Sax Solo) the Album “Woman Love” was quashed by the record company in the U.S. great album, great song.  #10 Canada

Most of the comments that I have read on the Internet, mainly American, think it was just a shame that this talent was suppressed by the record company in the U.S.  The Vinyl version, re-released of Woman Love is Highly praised on Amazon.

Burton Cummings, is a Canadian musician and songwriter who was the lead singer of The Guess Who from 1965 to 1975. During that time Burton sang, wrote and co-wrote the lion’s share of the Guess Who music, including successes like These Eyes, Laughing, No Time, American Woman, Share the Land, Star Baby, and Clap For the Wolfman.

In 1970, The Guess Who’s “American Woman” stayed at #1 in Billboard for three weeks. After that time Cummings recorded many of the most famous Guess Who songs including; ”Share the Land,” “Hand Me Down World,” “Albert Flasher,” “Rain Dance,” “Sour Suite,” “Glamour Boy,” “Star Baby” and Clap for the Wolfman.” Cummings sang lead on all 20 Guess Who singles that charted in Billboard from 1969 to 1975.

In 1975, after 10 years, Burton Cummings left The Guess Who to become a solo artist and the group disbanded. His subsequent solo successes included “Stand Tall”, “I’m Scared,” “Break it to Them Gently,” and “Fine State of Affairs.”

He received the Genie Award, Canada’s equivalent of the Oscar, for “You Saved My Soul”, which appeared in the movie “Melanie”, a film in which Cummings had a prominent dramatic role.

In 2000, the Guess Who reunited for concerts across Canada, and in 2001, they toured the U.S. extensively with a “close to original” lineup, including Cummings, Bachman, Peterson, Mc Dougall, and Wallace.

In 2001, Burton and the rest of The Guess Who received honorary doctorates at Brandon University in Brandon, Manitoba. More recently, Cummings was made an officer of the Order of Canada, the highest honor bestowed upon a civilian in Canada.

Cummings continues his writings, both songs and prose. He’s done  occasional shows with Randy Bachman as The Bachman-Cummings Band, featuring The Carpet Frogs, a band from Toronto and makes occasional appearances at various Canadian venues as a solo performer.

SONY/BMG has released a compilation album titled the Bachman Cummings Song Book featuring hits from The Guess Who, Bachman-Turner Overdrive and Cummings’ solo career.

Bachman & Cummings also released “The Thunderbird Trax” an album Burton and Randy did in 1987 in White Rock. It was only made available at live concerts of Bachman and Cummings.

Cummings’ latest release is Above the Ground. It contains 19 tracks, all written by Cummings himself, with no co-writers. Long time fans have called this his best work ever, and it has met with critical praise since its release.

The package also includes a DVD of behind the scenes looks at the recording process. Filmed by long time associate and videographer Lil Sarafian, the DVD includes both serious and hilarious moments culled from the recording sessions at Blue Moon Studios.The  album was released in Canada in 2009 and the United States on May 25, 2010.



One response to “Burton Cummings

  1. Pingback: The Most Successful Band in Canada! | Russ & Gary's "The Best Years of Music"

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