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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 80)
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 was also a member of 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 spun off 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] and subsequently formed and played with the Jim Kale Band/Jim Kale Show, followed by the Ripple Brothers.[10]

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 Kale asked group leaders Bachman and Burton Cummings for permission to use the Guess Who name for the concert.[11][12][13] Taking this initial permission beyond what Bachman and Cummings had granted, he instead formed the first of many new line-ups of The Guess Who to record and tour the nostalgia circuit under the name, nostalgia lineups that Bachman and Cummings have frequently criticized.[11][14]

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 tour of the classic Guess Who line-up with Peterson, Cummings, and Bachman in 1983,[15] and performed with them again at the closing ceremonies of the Pan-American Games in 1999.[16] After a break from 2000 to 2004, when a Cummings/Bachman reunion line-up toured extensively,[17] 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.[citation needed]


  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. ^ Silvio Dobri (May 19, 1977). "Change in personnel keeps bands fresh" (PDF). The Tribune. Retrieved January 15, 2024.
  11. ^ a b Patrick Prince (January 4, 2024). "Burton Cummings on legacy of The Guess Who, lawsuit against current lineup, more". Goldmine. Retrieved January 16, 2021.
  12. ^ "Great Guess Who divide embodies one of rock's oldest dilemmas". January 20, 2016. Retrieved January 16, 2021.
  13. ^ Tribune, Jon Bream, Minneapolis Star. "Randy Bachman discusses the Guess Who, his old pal Neil Young". telegram.com. Retrieved January 16, 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  14. ^ "Randy Bachman and Burton Cummings Reunite for Charity". Nicholas Jennings. Retrieved March 23, 2021.
  15. ^ "Guess Who – 1983 – Reunion soundboard@320". Guitars101 – Guitar Forums. Retrieved February 27, 2021.
  16. ^ "'Best ever' Pan Am Games end". CBC News. August 9, 1999. Archived from the original on May 10, 2008. Retrieved July 27, 2009.
  17. ^ Onesti, Ron (July 12, 2019). "Ron Onesti: 'Guess Who' is going to rock the Arcada". Daily Herald. Retrieved February 27, 2021.