Fans Petition to Induct the Guess Who into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Organizers say the band "remain the pride of an entire country and the defining sound of a vibrant musical era"

BY Calum SlingerlandPublished Jan 7, 2021

Rush, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Leonard Cohen and the Band are the most notable Canadians enshrined in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and listeners in Winnipeg are now calling for the Guess Who to join them.

The "Guess Who 4 the Hall" campaign — started by a group of "unapologetic fans" in the group's home city — have launched an online campaign in hopes of having the Guess Who take "their rightful place" in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as part of the 2021 class of inductees.

"During an era where the Beatles ruled everything, the Guess Who put Canada on the rock and roll map with the world's number one single, 'American Woman,'" the group writes on their website. "We marvelled at how a band from Winnipeg's North End achieved such incredible success in the music industry, how they made history, how they influenced and inspired so many others along the way."

Pointing to a petition and a "private fundraising effort" as drivers of their campaign, the group aims "to expand our Winnipeg conversation to an international discussion about just how important the music of The Guess Who is not only to Canadians — but globally."

An open letter to Rock and Roll Hall of Fame president and CEO Greg Harris included with the petition reads, in part, "The Guess Who's music influenced so many other rock and roll artists around the world. It also catapulted the next-generation musical careers of Burton Cummings as a solo artist and Randy Bachman in Bachman-Turner Overdrive, among others. The Guess Who has literally 'lit the way' for other Canadian artists to follow in their footsteps of success."

The Guess Who's career began in 1958, with vocalist/guitarist Chad Allen forming Allan and the Silvertones. Randy Bachman, Bob Ashley, Kim Kale and Garry Peterson would join the band in the following years, ahead of the group changing their name to Chad Allan and the Reflections in 1962.

The year 1965 would see the group change names once again, becoming Chad Allan and the Expressions ahead of landing their first hit with a cover of Johnny Kidd & the Pirates' "Shakin' All Over" that same year. Quality Records would credit the single to "Guess Who?" in an effort to build mystique for the band, and the name would come to stick as the single racked up radio spins.

Currently, drummer Peterson is the group's last original member, and continues to record and perform under the Guess Who name — including a stop at the annual Sturgis Buffalo Chip motorcycle rally last year. Bachman and Cummings were due to tour Canada together in 2020, though plans were ultimately derailed by COVID-19.

At the time of publication, the "Guess Who 4 the Hall" petition is quickly closing in on its initial goal of 2,500 signatures.

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