Chad Allan (born Allan Kowbel, March 29, 1943) is a Canadian musician and founding member of The Guess Who.
Allan was the group’s original lead singer and frontman, as well as rhythm guitarist, songwriter and occasionally drummer and pianist.
Allan’s first band, Allan and The Silvertones, was formed while attending Miles MacDonell Collegiate in the late 1950s. Allan brought notable Winnipeg musicians Bob Ashley, Jim Kale, Randy Bachman and Garry Peterson into the band. This band became Chad Allan and the Reflections. They released their debut single, “Tribute To Buddy Holly”, on the tiny Canadian-American label in 1962. In 1963, the band changed names again to Chad Allan and The Expressions and signed a contract with Quality Records. Several singles were released and were minor hits in Canada.
In 1965, Quality released their single, a cover of the Johnny Kidd song “Shakin’ All Over”. As a promo stunt, Quality released promo copies of the single credited to “Guess Who?”. This became the band’s new name, although throughout 1965 they were being credited as “Guess Who? Chad Allan And The Expressions”.
In late 1965 Bob Ashley left the band and Burton Cummings of The Deverons replaced him. Shortly after Cummings’ arrival, the band dropped the “Chad Allan & The Expressions” sub-moniker & began including harder R&B material into their set. Allan started developing throat problems in early 1966 that made it difficult for him to sing the grittier materials, which Cummings took on. After recording The Guess Who’s third album, It’s Time, Allan left the band.