Chad Allan, founding member of The Guess Who, dead at 80

Chad Allan.

Chad Allan, a Canadian musician who founded The Guess Who and had a pivotal role in the forming of Bachman-Turner Overdrive in the early 1970s, died on Nov. 21. He was 80.

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Jamie Anstey, the vice president of Regenerator Records, said the announcement of Allan’s death was delayed at the request of the musician’s family, who wanted to grieve privately first, the Winnipeg Sun reported.

Allan, a Winnipeg native who was the first singer of The Guess Who before giving way to Burton Cummings, was a singer-songwriter who was inducted into the Order of Manitoba in 2015 for his contributions to Canadian music, CBC reported.

Cummings posted a tribute to Allan on Facebook, saying his friend, who left The Guess Who in 1966, “was an inspiration to all of us in bands in Winnipeg.”

“I learned a lot from watching and listening to Chad,” Cummings wrote. “He was very talented and one of a kind. He will always be remembered.”

Bachman-Turner Overdrive started out as Brave Belt -- a band Allan co-founded with fellow Guess Who bandmate Randy Bachman, according to the news outlet. Allan had left the group by the time it morphed into Bachman-Turner Overdrive.

“I’m grateful to have known & worked with him,” Bachman wrote on Facebook and X, formerly known as Twitter.

Born Allan Kowbel on March 29, 1943, he adopted the stage name Chad Allan as a tribute to singer Chad Mitchell, according to his obituary. He also changed his name because he was tired of friends calling him “cowbell,” the Sun reported. He formed his first band while attending high school in Winnipeg.

The band went through several names including Chad Allan and the Reflections and Chad Allan and the Expressions, before adopting the name of The Guess Who, according to his obituary.

In addition to Allan’s work on CBC-TV’s “Let’s Go” in 1967, he also made appearances on “Music Hop” and “Where It’s At,” according to CBC.