Gary Puckett & the Union Gap was an appealing band from San Diego. They had a number of top ten hits in the late 60's.
They were formed as the Outcasts in 1967. Gary Puckett had been born in Hibbing, Minnesota in 1942 and served as lead singer and played the guitar. Others in the group were Kerry Chater on bass, Gary Withem on keyboards, Dwight Bement on tenor sax and Paul Wheatbread on drums. Wheatbread had backed a number of other performers on drums and had done a stint on the TV show Where The Action Is. The Outcasts started off as a bar band in San Diego, mostly playing covers of the popular songs of the day. They became popular very quickly and, late in 1967, made some changes just before hitting the big time.
They changed the name of the group to The Union Gap featuring Gary Puckett, a name they had taken from the town of Union Gap, Washington. They started to dress in Civil War outfits when performing, and signed a contract with Columbia records. A short time later they had their first hit song, Woman, Woman, which reached the top ten early in 1968. Puckett exuded a boyish charm and could sing very well. The group's producer, Jerry Fuller, wrote some songs for them that became very popular, including their next two big hits, Young Girl and Lady Willpower. By the time the latter song was released, they had altered the name of the band once again, this time to Gary Puckett & the Union Gap.
More hits followed, including Over You, Don't Give In To Him, and their final top ten entry, This Girl Is A Woman Now, which was a hit in the Fall of 1969. The members of the group began to develop other interests and eventually disbanded in 1971.
Kerry Chater wrote songs for other popular acts, including Bobby Darin and Cass Elliot. Gary Puckett tried acting for a while. He also recorded as a solo act and with his brother David, but without much success. He is still touring.
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