These Eyes – The Guess Who

THIS DAY IN MUSIC…………………………………………………on April 26th of 1969 the fortunes of Canada’s Guess Who were about to change as their latest single “These Eyes”(followup to their first hit from 1965 “Shakin’ All Over) entered the Billboard Top 40. It would climb to #6 and was followed by twelve more hits over the next five years. Lead singer Burton Cummings would later recall; “We fought RCA tooth and nail not to release that as a single because we wanted to be a Rock band.” Lead guitarist Randy Bachman started writing this song when he was waiting in the living room at the house of his date, Denise. She was taking a long time getting ready so Bachman sat at the piano and wrote the beginning of this song. Denise – the girl he was waiting for – he later married. Bachman claims the song took him just 15 minutes to write once he sat down with his bandmate Burton Cummings to put it together. Bachman had the original piano chords with an original title of “These Arms.” Burton Cummings changed the title to “These Eyes” and added the middle eight. The Guess Who had some big hits under their belt in their native Canada, but this song earned them international acclaim and a US record deal with RCA. They wrote the song at a time when they were gigging constantly, and also serving as the house band on a Canadian TV show called Let’s Go, where they would play covers of hit songs. “These Eyes” was the culmination of their efforts, and it became their first Top 10 hit in the US. The next year, they had two US chart-toppers: “American Woman” and “No Sugar Tonight.” When they weren’t touring, Randy Bachman and Burton Cummings would meet for songwriting sessions on Saturday mornings, and it was at one of these sessions that they completed the song. The band was still struggling at the time, and Cummings was still living with his mother, where these songwriting sessions took place. It turned out to be an enlivening songwriting environment, as the pair composed many of their early songs at Cummings’ mother’s piano. The song was not released as a single in the UK.