Sunday, October 24, 2010

Burton Cummings

I took the above photos at FW Gardens around 1980

As most know,Burton Cummings was the lead singer of The Guess Who,writing most of their hits or co-writting with Randy Bachman or Kurt Winter. Born New Years Eve 1947 in Winnipeg, Burton started his musical journey with his first band "The Deverons". In Winnipeg Burton became a local music rebel of sorts,one of his more notorious performances was as the opening act for a British band. Cummings stole the show as he danced on the piano outshining the main act. "The Deverons" recorded a few records,though in Winnipeg they remained in the shadow of "The Guess Who" who hit the USA Top 40 with "Shakin All Over" in 1965. When keyboard player Bob Ashley left "The Guess Who",Randy Bachman has said there was no other choice than to get Burton Cummings to join "The Guess Who". Burton arrived at the bands manager's office to meet with them and when offered the position replied "I'd like to guys,but The Beatles asked me last week" then left the room figuring it was a cruel joke. Re-entering the room Cummings asked and when told they were serious,accepted immediately. Burton remained with The Guess Who until 1975, then embarked on a very successful solo career. Burton's "I'd like to but The Beatles asked me to" remark would somewhat come to fruition years later when a "Beatle" Ringo Starr asked Burton to join the second version of his "All Star" band. Burton's greatest attribute has been his incredible singing voice. Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin called Burton's voice the best in R&R, and in liner notes Ringo referred to Burton as a singer with "a set of golden pipes", high praise indeed!