On today’s date in 1969, Winnipeg rock group The Guess Who had its single These Eyes certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).
According to the RIAA’s website, in the 1960s, a single had to sell one million copies within the U.S. to be certified gold.
These Eyes was co-written by the group’s lead guitarist Randy Bachman and lead singer Burton Cummings. According to music reviewer Joe Viglione, These Eyes was the 18th single released by the band since its inception in the late 1950s; however, it was the first song credited to the quartet of Bachman, Cummings, bassist Jim Kale and drummer Garry Peterson.
It was also the first track produced by Jack Richardson, who recently acquired the band’s contract from Quality Records for $1,000. Richardson placed a second mortgage on his home to finance the band’s 1969 album Wheatfield Soul, which included the single These Eyes.
The song was initially released as a single in Canada, where it reached the top 10 and helped the band earn a U.S. distribution deal with RCA Records. In April 1969, These Eyes was released in the U.S., where it became a breakthrough hit and earned the band its first top 10 single on the Billboard pop charts.
2013 CANADIAN RECORDING ARTISTS STAMPS
In 2013, Canada Post featured The Guess Who on 63-cent Permanent stamp (Scott #2659) printed by the Lowe-Martin Group on Tullis Russell Coatings coated paper. The set—dubbed “The Canadian Recording Artists: The Bands”—featured three other acts, including Rush, Beau Dommage and The Tragically Hip.
The Guess Who stamp depicts the band’s logo in the centre; the word “CANADA” near the bottom-left corner; and a P-mark indicating the issue as a non-denominated Permanent stamp in the top-right corner.
Each stamp measures 32 millimetres by 32 millimetres with simulated perforations. The set’s official first-day covers were cancelled in Winnipeg, Man. (The Guess Who); Toronto, Ont. (Rush); Kingston, Ont. (The Tragically Hip); and Montréal, Que. (Beau Dommage). The stamps were issued in booklets of 10 stamps, sets of four booklets and souvenir sheets of four stamps.