Burton Cummings, born in Winnipeg in 1947, played with The Devrons before joining The Guess Who as lead vocalist in 1965. Cummings spent ten years with that band, but left for a solo career, releasing a self-titled album in 1976. The single, “Stand Tall” (his only American hit, peaking at Number Ten), sold over a million copies.
Solo hits in Canada included “Stand Tall”, “I’m Scared”, “Break It to Them Gently”, and “Fine State of Affairs”. Cummings charted outside Canada with “Stand Tall” and “You Saved My Soul”. His Dream of a Child album released in 1978 was the biggest Canadian album in history at that time. Burton helped the sales of this album through extensive autograph signing.
Cummings ultimately made the move to Sherman Oaks, California, and began writing and singing for films in the late 1970s. He currently winters in California and returns to Winnipeg in the summer, living in Canada throughout autumn. He co-starred in the movie Melanie.
In 2000, Cummings, Bachman and original drummer Garry Peterson toured as The Guess Who. Bassist Jim Kale played one show and former Guess Who sidemen Donnie McDougall and Bill Wallace re-joined the line-up through the remainder of the tour in Canada and later in the U.S.
Cummings purchased Winnipeg’s Salisbury House restaurant chain with manager Lorne Saifer and a few other local celebrities. He also toured with the re-united The Guess Who from 2000 through the summer of 2003. In 2001, Burton and the rest of The Guess Who received honorary doctorates at Brandon University in Brandon, Manitoba. Cummings was also made a member of the Order of Manitoba. Most recently, the band played at the so-called “SARSstock” concert in Toronto. In 2004, Burton Cummings’ new single “With God on Our Side”, a cover of the famous Bob Dylan song, debuted at the 21st spot on a Canadian music Internet music chart.
Cummings has released a new album – a limited two-disc edition of Above the Ground, the 2008 album from the Canadian singer/songwriter, best known for his work with Rock legends The Guess Who. The album includes a bonus DVD containing over one hour of behind the scenes footage on the making of the album. Above the Ground features 19 new tracks written solely by Burton, the first time in his career when an album did not include any songwriting collaborations or covers. He is backed by the Indie Pop band The Carpet Frogs.
Cummings makes occasional appearances at various Canadian casinos as a solo performer. The Bachman-Cummings Band has released a compilation album titled the Bachman Cummings Song Book featuring hits from The Guess Who, Bachman-Turner Overdrive and Cummings’ solo career. They have also released an album titled The Thunderbird Trax - album that Cummings and Bachman recorded in Bachman’s tool shed in British Columbia in 1987. This album was never released for the general public, until 2006, when it was released for sale exclusively at Bachman-Cummings concerts. It is now available on the Bachman-Cummings website.