Burton Cummings Biography

31 December 1947, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Burton Cummings was the lead vocalist on the majority of the recordings by the Guess Who during that Canadian band’s reign during the 60s. Upon leaving for a solo career in the mid-70s, three years after the band’s guitarist Randy Bachman had left to form Bachman-Turner Overdrive, Cummings signed a solo contract with Portrait Records, a new CBS Records subsidiary. Cummings’ first single for the label, ‘Stand Tall’, was also his greatest solo success, a US Top 10 hit in late 1976. He continued to record for that label until 1978 and charted three more times. Cummings recorded three solo albums for Portrait, two of which sold reasonably well in 1976 and 1977, before Portrait folded. Its roster was absorbed by Epic Records, who released three further albums in the early 80s which brought scant commercial reward. His last US chart single, ‘You Saved My Soul’, was his only memorable moment of this period. Cummings and Bachman briefly regrouped for a Guess Who reunion tour and live video release in 1983. Despite infrequent recording during the late 80s and early 90s, Cummings and the Guess Who’s catalogue remained among the strongest-selling items on catalogue. However, he would have to wait until 1990 before releasing a seventh studio collection, Plus Signs. In 1994, Rhino Records released a compilation album, Cummings having resurrected his musical career by touring with Ringo Starr in 1992. In 1996, he returned to action with his first album for MCA Records. Up Close And Alone featured 16 of his best known songs, recorded with a Roland keyboard before an audience at the Glenn Gould Studio in Toronto in December 1995. He also embarked on a national tour to support its release.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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