Burton Cummings The Voice of the Guess Who
Burton is the former lead singer and keyboardist for the Canadian rock band The Guess Who. During his 10 years in the band, from 1965 to 1975, he sang, wrote or co-wrote many hit songs, including "American Woman," "No Time", "Share the Land", "Hand Me Down World", "Laughing", "Star Baby", "New Mother Nature", "These Eyes", and "Clap for the Wolfman". His solo career includes many hit singles, including "Stand Tall", "My Own Way to Rock", "Fine State of Affairs", and "You Saved My Soul"
Burton Cummings is that rare artist who has transcended time, genres and generations with a body of work that continues to resonate with fans both old and new. His voice has been rated among the finest in rock music and his extensive catalogue of songs is the envy of his contemporaries. Burton continues at the top of his game as a performer, singer, songwriter and recording artist second to none.
As a member of the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame, Canadian Music Industry Hall of Fame, Canadian Walk of Fame, Canadian Music Industry Hall of Fame, Prairie Music Hall of Fame, multiple Juno Award winner, recipient of the Order of Canada, the Order of Manitoba, the Governor-General’s Performance Arts Award, and several BMI (Broadcast Music Industry) awards for over 1 million airplays of his songs, Burton is one of the most celebrated rock artists in Canadian music history. Beyond his many awards, accolades and accomplishments he is also unquestionably Canada’s most beloved rock ‘n’ roll son. How many Canadian rock stars can boast both a community centre and a performing arts theatre named in their honor? Yet Burton also enjoys a world-wide stature shared by only a handful of other Canadian artists.
With Canada’s original rock ‘n’ roll superstars The Guess Who, Burton scored an unprecedented string of international hit singles and albums including These Eyes, Laughing, No Time, American Woman, Share The Land, Hang On To Your Life, Albert Flasher, Sour Suite, Orly, Glamour Boy, Star Baby, Clap For The Wolfman and Dancin’ Fool, all written or co-written by Burton. By 1970 the Guess Who had sold more records than the entire Canadian music industry combined to that point and their achievements remain unparalleled. The group notched up a long list of firsts including the first Canadian group to reach #1 on the Billboard charts (holding that spot for three weeks) and the first to earn a platinum album for sales of over 1 million copies in the US. Rolling Stone magazine hailed the Guess Who as “one of rock’s most consistently fascinating maverick bands, with a succession of meritorious songs that has few equals among contemporary North American groups.” Dick Clark described the group as rock innovators and ambassadors of Canadian music. Staples of classic rock and oldies radio today as well as in feature films including American Beauty, Almost Famous, Cable Guy, Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, and Jackie Brown, the Guess Who’s vast catalog of songs remains enduring. “When I think back on having five million-selling records in the Top 10, one after the other I can hardly believe it,” states Burton with justifiable pride. “I was just twenty years old and every time I turned around I was getting a gold record. The scope and magnitude of our success escaped all of us. It really didn’t sink in until years later.”
Striking out on his own in 1976, Burton continued his winning streak with a gold record for his debut solo single Stand Tall produced by legendary hit-maker Richard Perry who numbered among his clients Barbra Streisand, Carly Simon and Ringo Starr. The choice of producer was evidence of Burton’s star power in the music industry. He followed that with more than a dozen hit singles and albums including I’m Scared, My Own Way To Rock, I Will Play a Rhapsody, Timeless Love, Break It To Them Gently, Dream Of A Child, Fine State of Affairs, Love Dreams and You Saved My Soul. Sold out tours across Canada and the United States solidified Burton’s stature as a top attraction. He starred in several top-rated television specials and earned five Juno Awards between 1977 and 1980 for Best Male Vocalist and Best Album, serving as host of the gala annual event a record four times. His 1978 album Dream Of A Child became the first quadruple platinum-selling album by a Canadian artist.
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