Jim Kale

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Jim Kale
Kale with The Guess Who in 2008
Kale with The Guess Who in 2008
Background information
Born (1943-08-11) August 11, 1943 (age 79)
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Years active1962–2016

Michael James Kale (born August 11, 1943) is a retired Canadian musician, best known as the original bassist for the rock band The Guess Who.[1] He also served in the band Scrubbaloe Caine. In 1987, he was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame as a member of The Guess Who.[2]


Kale (first from right) with The Guess Who in 1970

Kale joined the local Winnipeg band Chad Allan and the Reflections in 1962; that band later evolved into The Guess Who.[3] Kale was the band's bassist during its most successful period up to 1972, appearing on several hit singles and albums and co-writing the band's best-known song, "American Woman", which reached no. 1 in Canada and the United States.[4][5][6]

Kale left The Guess Who in 1972 after the Live at the Paramount album, going on to join Scrubbaloe Caine.[7] Scrubbaloe Caine was nominated for the 1974 Juno Award for Most Promising Group,[8] losing to Bachman–Turner Overdrive featuring Kale's former bandmate Randy Bachman. Kale left Scrubbaloe Caine in late 1974.[9]

Meanwhile, The Guess Who had broken up in 1975, and in 1977 the CBC invited former members to participate in a reunion concert. Group leaders Bachman and Burton Cummings were not interested, but allowed Kale and several other former members to use The Guess Who's name for the event.[10][11] Kale discovered that the band name had never been trademarked in Canada, and acquired ownership. He formed the first of many new line-ups of The Guess Who and toured the nostalgia circuit under the name.[10][11] Kale's nostalgia line-ups of The Guess Who have been frequently criticized by Bachman and Cummings.[12]

Kale led shifting nostalgia-oriented line-ups of The Guess Who regularly until 2016, and released several new albums under that name which received little notice. He was sometimes joined by original Guess Who drummer Garry Peterson. Kale also participated in a reunion of the classic Guess Who line-up with Peterson, Cummings, and Bachman in 1983,[13] and another in 1999.[14] After a break from 2000 to 2004, when a Cummings/Bachman reunion line-up toured extensively,[15] Kale revived his nostalgia tour version of The Guess Who and continued touring with shifting line-ups until his retirement in 2016. He was replaced by Rudy Sarzo, and the band has continued under the leadership of Garry Peterson.[16]


  1. ^ Huey, Steve. "Biography: The Guess Who". AMG. Retrieved May 18, 2010.
  2. ^ "The Guess Who – Canadian Music Hall Of Fame". Retrieved January 16, 2021.
  3. ^ Frank Hoffmann (November 12, 2004). Encyclopedia of Recorded Sound. Routledge. pp. 992–. ISBN 1-135-94949-2.
  4. ^ "Top Singles – Volume 13, No. 12, May 9, 1970". RPM. Retrieved February 23, 2011.
  5. ^ Martin Charles Strong (2002). The Great Rock Discography. Canongate. p. 912. ISBN 978-1-84195-312-0.
  6. ^ The Guess Who – Awards at AllMusic
  7. ^ "Scrubbaloe Caine | Biography & History | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved January 16, 2021.
  8. ^ "Scrubbaloe Caine Round One". Canuckistan Music. Retrieved April 25, 2021.
  9. ^ "From the Music Capitals of the World: Toronto". Billboard, July 13, 1974.
  10. ^ a b "Great Guess Who divide embodies one of rock's oldest dilemmas". January 20, 2016. Retrieved January 16, 2021.
  11. ^ a b Tribune, Jon Bream, Minneapolis Star. "Randy Bachman discusses the Guess Who, his old pal Neil Young". telegram.com. Retrieved January 16, 2021.
  12. ^ "Randy Bachman and Burton Cummings Reunite for Charity". Nicholas Jennings. Retrieved March 23, 2021.
  13. ^ "Guess Who – 1983 – Reunion soundboard@320". Guitars101 – Guitar Forums. Retrieved February 27, 2021.
  14. ^ "'Best ever' Pan Am Games end". CBC News. August 9, 1999. Archived from the original on May 10, 2008. Retrieved July 27, 2009.
  15. ^ Onesti, Ron (July 12, 2019). "Ron Onesti: 'Guess Who' is going to rock the Arcada". Daily Herald. Retrieved February 27, 2021.
  16. ^ "Rudy Sarzo On Joining The Guess Who, Playing With Ozzy Osbourne, Keeping Up On Music & More". The Hype Magazine. September 11, 2018. Retrieved February 27, 2021.