Fred Turner

Charles Frederick “Fred” Turner (born 16 October 1943) is a Canadian rock bassist, vocalist and songwriter, and was a founding member of the 1970s rock band Bachman–Turner Overdrive (B.T.O.). He is credited on early Bachman–Turner Overdrive and B.T.O. albums as “C.F. Turner”.


Fred Turner played in over a dozen bands in and around Winnipeg during his early adult years, his first vocal recordings being with the group Pink Plumm, which released one independent single. Based upon advice Randy Bachman received from Neil Young, Turner was subsequently asked to join Randy’s band Brave Belt in 1971. At the time, Turner was playing and singing in a cover band called the D-Drifters. The D-Drifters wanted to continue doing cover songs, and had repeatedly rejected Turner’s original compositions. When the call came from Bachman, Turner jumped at the chance to join a band that would give him an opportunity to play original material.

The lead vocalist for the first Brave Belt album was Chad Allan, Randy Bachman’s former bandmate from The Guess Who. When Allan departed shortly after the first album’s release, Turner stepped in as a full-time lead vocalist and bassist. He would contribute five song compositions to the follow-up Brave Belt II album (1972), and he sang lead vocal on all but two of the album’s eleven songs. While shopping around a proposed “Brave Belt III” album, the band changed its name to Bachman–Turner Overdrive (BTO). Although Randy Bachman was the more widely known name because of his years with The Guess Who, Robbie Bachman stated in numerous interviews that there could have been no “BTO sound” without Turner’s contributions: “The first Brave Belt albums were very country-rock. Everything changed when Fred joined the band. We had Fred Turner’s heavy, rough voice. We evolved because of Mr. Turner.”

When Randy Bachman left Bachman–Turner Overdrive in late 1977, Turner switched from bass to rhythm guitar to make room for bassist–vocalist Jim Clench. This new line-up for 1978–79 was only called B.T.O. and nothing else, due to legal issues surrounding the use of the Bachman surname. Turner resumed his original role on the bass when Bachman–Turner Overdrive re-formed for a 1984 album and subsequent tour.

Turner is the lead vocalist on many of Bachman–Turner Overdrive’s most popular tracks, including “Roll On Down the Highway,” “Let It Ride,” “Blue Collar,” “Four Wheel Drive,” “Not Fragile” and “Take It Like a Man.” His songwriting credits include “Gimme Your Money Please,” “Blue Collar,” “Not Fragile,” “Take It Like a Man” (with Blair Thornton), “Let it Ride” (with Randy Bachman) and “Roll On Down the Highway” (with Robbie Bachman).

Turner recorded a solo song for the Animal Magnetism CD called “Walk With You” in 1996. The Animal Magnetism album was put together by Riff West. Other musicians that recorded songs for this album include Lonesome Dave Peverett of Foghat, Pat Travers, and Edgar Winter. In 2000, he made a voice appearance with Randy Bachman on an episode of The Simpsons.

Turner’s last performance on stage with any formation of BTO was in 2004 with Randy Murray. The two were backed by members of the Little River Band because drummer Robbie Bachman and guitarist Blair Thornton were unable to attend BTO’s last show. Turner is the only member of Bachman–Turner Overdrive to be on every album the band released.

2010 Bachman and Turner reunion

Turner reunited with Randy Bachman and recorded a new self-titled album that was released in September 2010 under the name “Bachman & Turner.”

Bachman and Turner embarked on a 2010–11 world tour in support of their 2010 album, though numerous BTO songs were also played onstage. The B&T world tour opened in June 2010 at the Sweden Rock Festival. The two founding members’ newest album is a return to the full, rich rock sounds of the seventies, and they have stated it is the “missing album” of that BTO era. Other confirmed dates included the High Voltage Festival in London, England, the Manitoba Homecoming Festival in Winnipeg, and several more dates in the United States and Canada. Continuing tour announcements are posted at

Awards and recognition and other achievements

  • 1974: Juno Award winner, Most Promising Group of the Year
  • 1975: Juno Award winner, Group of the Year
  • 1976: Juno Award winner, Group of the Year
  • 1978: Juno Award nomination, Group of the Year
  • 2008: Guitar Magazine, Takin’ Care of Business rated at number 10 in top 100 most covered songs
  • 2009: iTunes, Takin’ Care of Business is the most downloaded song on iTunes


Studio albums
Year Title U.S. certification Chart number
1973 Bachman–Turner Overdrive Gold 70
1973 Bachman–Turner Overdrive II Platinum 4
1974 Not Fragile Platinum 1
1975 Four Wheel Drive Gold 5
1975 Head On Gold 21
1977 Freeways 70
1978 Street Action 135
1979 Rock n’ Roll Nights 165
1984 Bachman–Turner Overdrive 87
1996 Trial By Fire: Greatest and Latest
2010 Bachman & Turner
Live albums
Year Title U.S. certification Chart number
1977 B.T.O. Live – Japan Tour
1986 Live Live Live
1994 Best of Bachman–Turner Overdrive Live
1997 Motorcity Detroit USA Live
1998 King Biscuit Flower Hour: Bachman–Turner Overdrive
Compilation albums
Year Title U.S. certification[7] Chart number
1976 Best of BTO 2x Platinum
1983 You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet
1986 BTO’s Greatest Gold
1993 The Anthology
1998 Takin’ Care of Business
2000 20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: The Best of Bachman–Turner Overdrive Gold
2001 The Very Best of Bachman–Turner Overdrive
2005 Bachman–Turner Overdrive Gold


Year Single Chart Position
1973 “Blue Collar” Rock Singles 68
1974 “Let It Ride” Pop Singles 23
1974 “Takin’ Care of Business” 12
1974 “Roll on Down The Highway” 14
1974 “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet” 1
1975 “Hey You” 21
1976 “Gimme Your Money Please” 70
1976 “Take It Like A Man” 33
1976 “Lookin’ Out For #1” 65
1976 “Down to the Line” 43
1977 “My Wheels Won’t Turn”
1977 “Shotgun Rider”
1978 “Down The Road”
1979 “Jamaica”
1979 “Heartaches” 60
1984 “Service with a Smile”
1984 “For The Weekend” 83
1996 “House of the Rising Sun”
2010 “Rollin’ Along”


Year Type Title
1974 Music Video You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet
1975 Documentary/ Live Shows 1975 Road Special
1983 Music Video For The Weekend
1988 Live Show ’88 Reunion
1995 Documentary/ Live Shows BTO: The Movie
2012 Motion picture The Campaign
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