All inducted songs
Randy Bachman started writing this song when he was waiting in the living room at the house of his date, Lorayne Stevenson. She was taking a while to get ready, so Bachman sat at the piano and wrote the beginning of this song.
These Eyes
  • Year Inducted: 2005
  • Written In: 1966
Songwriters
Artists
The Guess Who
Blood, Sweat and Tears
Michael Bolton
Junior Walker
Natalie Cole
Gowan
The BMI award-winning rock ballad These Eyes was the breakthrough recording that established The Guess Who as Canada’s first super-group and altered the musical landscape by opening the American market for Canadian rock and pop artists. Released on the 1969 album “Wheatfield Soul,” These Eyes reached No. 1 in this country – an especially difficult feat because Canadian content regulations were still a few years away – and was Top 10 in the USA.

In the late 1960s, The Guess Who had a regular TV gig on the CBC show “Let’s Go.” The producer, Larry Brown, encouraged Bachman and Cummings to write some original material. So, one evening in 1966 while Bachman was waiting for Lorayne Stevenson (his future first wife) to get ready for their date, he began playing some random chords on her piano. He thought the words “These arms” would go nicely with the chords, and recorded his ideas in a Hilroy notebook. The next Saturday, he showed the chords to Cummings, who suggested moving them around and making the first line “These eyes cry every night for you.”

As Cummings later told the “Toronto Star,” they completed These Eyes in just thirty minutes. And as Bachman described in his book “Vinyl Tap”: “From that we wrote a song that would forever change our lives.”

The Guess Who introduced the new These Eyes on “Let’s Go,” where producer Jack Richardson heard it. With Richardson daringly refinancing his home to support the project, in 1968 the band recorded the song at New York City’s A&R studios, with lead singer Cummings playing those now instantly-recognizable staccato opening chords on a Hohner electric piano.

These Eyes became The Guess Who’s first gold record. In Canada it topped out at No. 1 on CHUM February 15, 1969, and No. 7 on RPM. With Richardson’s PR people promoting the song in the USA, it reached No. 4 on Cashbox and Billboard’s No. 6.

The gold record was presented to the band on the “American Bandstand” TV show. The Guess Who’s breakthrough was capped by a 1970 Juno for Top Vocal Instrumental Group, repeated the following year.

A hit 1969 cover by soul singer and saxophonist Junior Walker appeared rapidly (No. 16 on Billboard). These Eyes has since been recorded as reggae (Coxsone Dodd, Stranger Cole), pop (Michael Bolton, Natalie Cole), hip-hop (Maestro), rock (Lawrence Gowan), soul (jacksoul), and R&B (Angie Stone). Michael Cera sings it in the comedy film “Superbad.”

Guitarist Randy Bachman and vocalist/keyboardist Burton Cummings are the formidable Winnipeg-based songwriting duo behind The Guess Who and such hits as American Woman, Laughing, and No Time. Bachman went on to further international success with the band Bachman-Turner Overdrive, solo albums, and a national radio show, and Cummings is a platinum-selling solo recording artist. Their many accomplishments include Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards and recognition in the Canadian Music Hall of Fame and Canada’s Walk of Fame.

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These Eyes (The Guess Who) - performed by jacksoul
"These Eyes" was performed by Canadian Juno Award Winning R&B & Soul group jacksoul at the 2005 CSHF Induction Gala.
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