Chad Allan was a multi-instrumentalist musician who helped found Canadian rock band the Guess Who as their original lead singer.
Chad Allan’s legacy
Canadian musician Allan – born Allan Peter Stanley Kowbel – got his start playing in bands in the late 1950s while at Miles MacDonell Collegiate. He initially led Allan and the Silvertones, which evolved into Chad Allan and the Reflections, and then later, Chad Allan and the Expressions, including musicians Jim Kale, Randy Bachman, and Garry Peterson.
In 1965, the band released a cover of Johnny Kidd’s “Shakin’ All Over.” As a promotional gimmick, it was sent to radio stations under the name “Guess Who?” Radio DJs began identifying them by that name, and it stuck. By their third album, they were called the Guess Who. Vocal troubles took their toll on Allan, however, and he left the band after their 1966 album, “It’s Time.”
Allan hosted a Canadian music program, “Let’s Go,” for two years before returning to music as a solo artist. He also reunited with Bachman to form the band Brave Belt. Fred Turner joined them for Brave Belt’s second album, then Allan once again refocused on a solo career. Meanwhile, the band changed their name to Bachman-Turner Overdrive and went on to be known for songs like “Takin’ Care of Business.”
Over the years Allan also created gospel and Christian rock music, among other endeavors. In honor of his career, in 2015, he was inducted into the Order of Manitoba.
Tributes to Chad Allen
Full obituary: Winnipeg Sun