I am writing about a popular radio hit song that I always liked. As a middle school student in Bellingham, I would split my free time between listening to D.J.’s at KPUG-AM in Bellingham and at CKLG-AM.out of Vancouver, B.C. Both stations played Top 40 music, but there were differences in their playlists. Before anyone tells me about Canadian content rules, I am speaking of the years prior to that government mandate.
One of the songs that I heard first on Canadian radio was Shakin’ All Over, with those distinctive guitar riffs. Before long, it was on-the-air at KPUG and other U.S. stations. Usually the disc jockeys would say it was by Canada’s Guess Who. Other times they would say it was by Chad Allan and the Expressions. I bought the single, so I could play it on my low power bedroom pirate radio station. My copy of the single looked like the colorful label below.
In 1965, the song went to #1 in Canada, and it did well in the U.S. — rising as high as #22 on the chart. The Guess Who, of course, ended up being a super group that had many hits. However, founding singer and guitarist, Chad Allan, was gone from the band by the time they achieved their greatest success. When this one came out, Burton Cummings had not yet joined the group, but Randy Bachman was there playing his guitar. The band kept the name Guess Who — their promoters convinced the boys that the public might confuse the vague name for a British Invasion act and that could sell more records.
So that’s my story. If you wonder why I am telling it, that’s because eight years ago I found a video of Mr. Chad Allan and he was still performing his signature song Shakin’ All Over. Chad moved to British Columbia at some point, although I always associate the Guess Who with Winnipeg. Chad looked a few years older than he did in his days with the Guess Who, but he was still rockin’. Take a look, old guys can rock. He was live in Burnaby, B.C.
I read that Chad Allan suffered a stroke in 2017, but that he was improving. We wish him the best!