The Guess Who - Tuesday, November 24, 2015

We talked yesterday about Bachman-Turner Overdrive, a rock band founded in Winnipeg, Canada in 1971.  It stands to reason then that we would go backwards and discuss the band from which they emerged - The Guess Who - also from Winnipeg.  Both bands, by the way, have albums on display in the Music Room here at the American Treasure Tour, adorning our music wall, if you are wondering why we would honor them so.

The Guess Who was formed by Allan Kowbel, a singer/guitarist who must not have liked the association his name had with cows and bells.  He went by Chad Allan, and originally called the band Chad Allan and the Reflections, as early as 1962.  Their first single honored the late great Buddy Holly ("A Tribute to Buddy Holly"), but they had to change their name after a band called The Reflections from the States had a hit.  They became the Expressions.  When the Expressions had a hit in 1965, their promoter tried to add a mystique to the unknown members of the band, asking listeners to "Guess Who" was playing.  The name stuck and the band was compelled to change their name.  The Guess Who did very well in Canada for a number of years, only reaching the international airwaves and, indeed, becoming one of very few Canadian bands to gain the coveted number one spot on American radio in 1970 with their song "American Woman."  

It was not long after that when the band's line-up began to change.  Randy Bachman, who had converted to Mormonism around that time, left the band and eventually formed Bachman-Turner Overdrive.  In 1971, the album The Best of the Guess Who - the record honored with a spot on our wall - was released.  Alongside "American Woman" it had other Guess Who classics on it, such as "Share the Land,""Hand Me Down World," and "Hang On to Your Life." The band broke up officially in 1975, which has given them plenty of opportunities to reunite over the years.  
QUESTION:  What band from the 1960's had been well established prior to calling themselves The Wonder Who?
A)  The Beatles
B)  The Four Seasons
C)  The Rolling Stones
D)  Simon & Garfunkel

BYE-BYE LEE.  When Lee Harvey Oswald was killed on this day in 1963 - two days after he (allegedly, by some reports) assassinated President John F. Kennedy - the country was not exactly in mourning for him.  But he left many questions unanswered.  Why he did it?  Was he part of a conspiracy?  What was he thinking!?  Jack Ruby forever ended the chance of finding out, though, and Ruby never confessed whether he killed Oswald to protect anyone.  These are questions that continue to raise even more questions to this day.

LUCKY DAY!  Today we "celebrate" the birth of Salvatore Lucania in Sicily, Italy in 1897.  Of course, during this time of controversy over immigration policy, he is not one to discuss really. He came to the United States in 1907, as a young boy, but assimilated quite well.  Living near New York City's infamous Five Points, he got into a lot of trouble as a teenager and took on the name "Lucky" Luciano.  He spent the remainder of his life in organized crime, exploiting Prohibition as a bootlegger and as an apprentice to Arnold "The Brain" Rothstein, who trained him in the ways of high society.  Luciano came into his own, created his own Mafia, and maintained relations between many different crime families until his arrest in 1936.  He was sent away for fifty years, but only served ten.  He cooperated with the military during World War II, providing information to help the Allied cause, agreeing to be deported back to Italy after the war, living between there and Cuba until his death in 1962.

QUOTE:  There's no such thing as good money or bad money.  Just money. - Lucky Luciano

ANSWER:  B)  The Four Seasons.