Kurt Winter

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Kurt Winter
Kurt Winter with The Guess Who in 1970
Background information
Born(1946-04-02)April 2, 1946
OriginWinnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
DiedDecember 14, 1997(1997-12-14) (aged 51)
GenresRock, Hard rock, Pop rock
Occupation(s)Guitarist, songwriter
  • Guitar

Kurt Frank Winter (April 2, 1946 – December 14, 1997) was a Canadian guitarist and songwriter, best known as a member of The Guess Who.


Winter was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He attended Daniel McIntyre Collegiate Institute.[1] From the mid-1960s he was a member of several local Winnipeg rock bands, collaborating at various times with bassist Bill Wallace and drummer Vance Schmidt (later known as Vance Masters).[2][3][4] In 1969 Winter, Wallace, and Schmidt formed the band Brother, who were associates of The Guess Who.[1] Brother was together for less than six months, but became known for the fact that all three members later joined The Guess Who.

Guitarist Randy Bachman left The Guess Who in 1970, and that band's leader Burton Cummings recruited Winter and Greg Leskiw as Bachman's replacements.[2][3] Winter was with The Guess Who for four years and became one of the band's primary songwriters in tandem with Cummings.[5] After six studio albums, Winter left The Guess Who for undisclosed reasons in 1974,[5] and was replaced by Domenic Troiano.

After The Guess Who broke up, various former members of that band attempted reunion tours with floating lineups. Winter briefly joined a lineup led by bassist Jim Kale in 1977–78, and contributed to the album Guess Who's Back.[6]

Winter then retired from the music industry and resided in Winnipeg for the rest of his life.[1] Burton Cummings invited Winter to write songs for his 1990s solo albums, though Winter chose a life away from music.[1] Winter suffered from health problems attributed to excessive alcohol use, and died at age 51 from kidney failure on December 14, 1997.[1] His alma mater, Daniel McIntyre Collegiate Institute, initiated an annual scholarship in Winter's name in 1998.[5] Cummings memorialized Winter in "Kurt's Song" on his 2008 album, Above the Ground. Cummings described Winter as "one of my fondest writing partners".[7]


With The Guess Who:


  1. ^ a b c d e John Einarson, Profile of Kurt Winter. Manitoba Music Museum, 2012. Retrieved 2015-10-29.
  2. ^ a b Profile of Gettysbyrg Address Archived 2016-03-05 at the Wayback Machine; canadianbands.com. Retrieved 2015-11-04.
  3. ^ a b Profile of Brother Archived 2016-03-05 at the Wayback Machine; canadianbands.com. Retrieved 2015-11-03.
  4. ^ Canadian Pop Music Encyclopedia, Profile of The Fifth. Retrieved 2015-11-07.
  5. ^ a b c John Einarson, Winter's tale. Winnipeg Free Press, December 15, 2013. Retrieved 2015-11-10.
  6. ^ "The Guess Who – Guess Who's Back (1978, Vinyl)". Discogs. 1978.
  7. ^ Stephen Ostick, Cummings picks wah-wah as career highlight. Winnipeg Free Press, October 3, 1988. As reprinted by Hillman Web. Retrieved 2015-11-14.

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