Chad Allan (musician)

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Chad Allan
Birth name Allan Peter Stanley Kowbel
Also known as Allan Kobel
Born (1943-03-29) March 29, 1943 (age 72)
Winnipeg, Canada
Origin Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Genres Rock, Soft Rock, Country Rock
Occupation(s) Musician, Singer/songwriter
Instruments vocals, accordion, guitar, piano, keyboards, harmonica, drums, mandolin
Years active 1958–present
Labels Canadian-American, Quality, Scepter, Reprise, GRT, Seabreeze, Regenerator
Associated acts The Guess Who, Brave Belt

Chad Allan, OM (born March 29, 1943) is a Canadian musician who was the original lead singer, founding member, and front man of The Guess Who.


Allan's first band, Allan and the Silvertones, was formed while he was attending Miles MacDonell Collegiate in 1958. Then Allan brought notable Winnipeg musicians Bob Ashley, Jim Kale, Randy Bachman and Garry Peterson into the band, which was now going by the name Chad Allan and the Reflections, with Allan taking his stage name from one of his favourite singers, Chad Mitchell of the Chad Mitchell Trio. They released their debut single, "Tribute to Buddy Holly," on the Canadian-American label in 1962. In 1963, the band changed their name to Chad Allan and the Expressions after signing with Quality Records and releasing several singles that were minor hits in Canada.

The Guess Who[edit]

In January of 1965, Quality released their single, a cover of the Johnny Kidd song "Shakin' All Over". As a promo stunt, Quality released promo copies of the single credited to "Guess Who?". This became the band's new name, although throughout 1965 they were being credited as Chad Allan & the Expressions (Guess Who?).

In December 1965 Bob Ashley left the band and Burton Cummings of The Deverons replaced him. Shortly before Cummings' arrival, the band dropped the Chad Allan & the Expressions sub-moniker and began incorporating harder R&B material into their set. Allan experienced vocal challenges in early 1966 that made it difficult for him to sing. After the recording of the group's third album, It's Time, Allan left the band.

After the Guess Who[edit]

Allan initially went back to college for a brief period of time, but continued performing. In 1967 he was chosen to host CBC-TV's weekly music program Let's Go. Coincidentally, the house band chosen for the show was The Guess Who. The show lasted two seasons before being cancelled. Allan, still under contract to Quality Records (signed in 1963), released a number of singles. He also recorded two albums for the Canadian Talent Library, his first solo album Looking Through Crystal Glass and an album called The Metro-Gnomes along with two newcomer Winnipeg female singers Karen Marklinger and Corrine Cyca. Both albums were released in 1969.

In the early 1970s Allan legally changed his name to Chad Allan. Along with Randy Bachman, he formed Brave Belt in 1971. The band released two country-rock albums for Reprise Records. By 1972 the band's sound began to veer toward heavier rock. Shortly after the recording of the second Brave Belt album, Allan left the band. In 1973 he released his second solo album, Sequel, on GRT Records of Canada. Allan was also chosen to play the lead character in a musical adaptation of the ancient poem Beowulf, which was released on album in 1974. In 1978 Allan released an album on a Greek label (Seagull (3) called Shakin' All Over made in Greece. The album contained 5 new songs and the remaining 7 are previous recordings such as: Shakin' All Over, Wrap Myself in Sunshine, Spending My Time, Movie, Don't Muscle Me Baby, Dunrobin's Gone, and Hands and Faces which was originally recorded by Brave Belt in 1972 prior to Allan's exit from the group.

Allan has since pursued many musical endeavours including gospel music, hosting a children's TV show in Winnipeg, and forming his own record label, Seabreeze Records, from which he released several singles and an album that didn't fare well. For a number of years, starting in 1982, he taught songwriting at Kwantlen University College in Surrey, British Columbia. Allan appeared on a special called It's Only Rock & Roll starring Ralph Benmergui, interviewing Neil Young, Burton Cummings and Randy Bachman in a 1987 reunion in Winnipeg. In 1992 Allan released the Christian-inspired album Zoot Suit.

In January 2007 Regenerator Records ( issued a CD consisting of four rare studio tracks and a live concert recording circa 1962 entitled Chad Allan and the Reflections — Early Roots. A limited-edition double-vinyl LP set of the collection (minus the four studio cuts) was released in Spring 2008. Regenerator has also remastered Sequel and Zoot Suit, and they are available for download on iTunes.

Allan moved to Vancouver, British Columbia in 1977. He still performs standards, ballads, and rock and roll classics.



Year Album
1969 Looking Through Crystal Glass
1969 The Metro-Gnomes
1973 Sequel
1974 Beowulf (A Musical Epic)
1978 Shakin' All Over (Greece Release)
1992 Zoot Suit
2007 Chad Allan and the Reflections — Early Roots


Year Single Chart positions Album
1967 "Salt in My Wounds/Wrap Myself in Sunshine"  —  — Looking Through Crystal Glass
1968 "Through the Looking Glass/Ramona's Hourglass"  —  —
1969 "Looking Through Crystal Glass/I'll Think of You Sometimes"  —  —
1970 "West Coast Girl/On the Back Step" 14  —  —
1981 "Balled of a Middle-Aged Rocker/Movie"  —  —
1973 "Spending My Time/Sixty Cents a Shot" 27 79  — Sequel
1973 "Prairietown, Midwest City/Dunrobin's Gone"  —  — 71
1974 "Try/I Sang the Song of Beginning"  —  — Beowulf (A Musical Epic)
1968 "Greeting Card/Elevator"  —  — non-album singles
1982 "Don't Muscle Me, Baby/Sunny Monday"  —  —


Preceded by
Lead singer in The Guess Who Succeeded by
Burton Cummings