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Gary Puckett

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Gary Puckett
Puckett performing in 2016
Puckett performing in 2016
Background information
Born (1942-10-17) October 17, 1942 (age 81)
Hibbing, Minnesota, U.S.
OriginSan Diego, California, U.S.
Years active1964–present
Formerly ofGary Puckett & The Union Gap
Lorrie Haimes
(m. 2000)

Gary Dale[1] Puckett (born October 17, 1942) is an American singer. He is best remembered for being the lead vocalist for Gary Puckett & The Union Gap, who had six consecutive gold records in 1968, including "Lady Willpower", "Young Girl", "Woman Woman", and "Over You".

After the Union Gap disbanded in 1971, Puckett signed to Columbia and embarked on a solo career, and, after a decade-long hiatus in 1972, returned to music in the early 1980s, and has since released a handful of studio albums since the 1970s.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Puckett was born in Hibbing, Minnesota. When he was six his family moved to Yakima, Washington[3] (not far from Union Gap, Washington), where he grew up. Puckett learned how to sing and play guitar during his teens.[4]

He went to college for two years in San Diego, California, majoring in psychology, then dropped out to work in a band called the Outcasts.

The Outcasts[edit]

Gary's first group was The Outcasts, which included Bobby Brown (bass), Dwight Bement (saxophone; Also later member of the Union Gap), Bob Salisbury (saxophone), and Willie Kellogg (drums).[5] Originally formed as a Righteous Brothers styled duo by Puckett and Brown, their manager, Yale Kahn, owner of the Clairemont Bowl, added Bement, Salisbury, and Kellogg into the lineup.

After releasing two singles, "Run Away / Would You Care" (1965) and "I Can't Get Through To You / I Found Out About You" (1966), the group split up in 1967.[5]

Gary Puckett & The Union Gap[edit]


In January 1967, Puckett and Dwight Bement formed Gary and the Remarkables with Kerry Chater (August 7, 1945 – February 4, 2022, bass)[6] Gary 'Mutha' Withem (born August 22, 1944, keyboards), and Paul Wheatbread (born February 8, 1946, drums). The break came for the group when Jerry Fuller, a former country music artist and a producer for Columbia Records in Los Angeles, heard them at a small bar where they were performing in a bowling alley complex. Fuller liked their sound and signed them to a contract.

Initial success[edit]

They were now going under the name Gary Puckett & The Union Gap and would be known for hits such as "Lady Willpower", "Young Girl" and "Woman, Woman". They sold more records in 1968 than any other group and had six consecutive gold records[7] as well as making two appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show (1968, 1971). Their song "Woman, Woman" was an adaptation of the country hit by the Glaser Brothers called "Girl, Girl". On records, they wore Civil War outfits, as suggested by Puckett, and called themselves the Union Gap after the Union Gap area where Puckett had lived.

Puckett (far right) with the Union Gap in 1968.

The band were nominated for a Grammy Award for Best New Artist in 1969, losing out to José Feliciano.

Split and reformation[edit]

The group eventually grew unhappy with doing material written and produced by others, leading them to stop working with Fuller, and they disbanded in 1971.

Gary re-formed the band sometime in the early 1980s and, since signing to them in 1984, has performed with them at the yearly "Happy Together" tours, alongside Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman of The Turtles (who started up the tour), The Association, The Cowsills, Ron Dante of The Archies, Chuck Negron of Three Dog Night, The Buckinghams, The Box Tops, The Vogues, and The Classics IV.[8]

As of around 2012, their current line-up consists of Puckett, Woody Lingle (bass), Jamie Hilboldt (keyboards), and Mike Candito (drums).

Puckett (2nd from right) with the Union Gap in 2012

The Union Gap's "Greatest Hits" album was one of CBS' best selling "Collector Series" albums.[9]

In 1974 "Young Girl" was reissued in the UK where it reached number five and achieved a Silver Record Award for the second time.[9]

Solo career[edit]

After the Union Gap split, Puckett released a solo album titled The Gary Puckett Album that same year.

He released a few singles from 1970 to 1972, with his first two being a cover of Dusty Springfield's 1964 song, "I Just Don't Know What to Do with Myself" and a cover of Simon & Garfunkel's "Bridge over Troubled Water" and "Keep The Customer Satisfied" (a song Puckett would later perform as a solo artist on the Ed Sullivan Show in January 1971).[10]

After the release of his 1971 album, Puckett's contract was terminated.[4]

Afterwards, he lived a private life throughout the rest of the 1970s, studying acting and dance and working in theatrical productions in and around Los Angeles, before he made a comeback in the music industry as a solo artist in the 1980s.

Puckett was on the bill for the first Monkees reunion tour in 1986, along with the Grass Roots and the then line-up of Herman's Hermits.[9]

After a decade out of the public eye, Puckett released Melodie (1982) followed by Love Me Tonight (1992), As It Stands (1995), Time Pieces (1996), and Is This Love (1997), as well as a Christmas album in 2001.[9] Puckett's latest album is This Is Love (2006).

Puckett, along with Michael McDonald of the Doobie Brothers fame, joined Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band in San Diego as a guest to sing the Beatles song With a Little Help from My Friends on June 26, 2000.[11]

He was interviewed by Studio 10 in 2019.[12]

Puckett opened a Cameo account in 2021.[13]

Personal life[edit]

Gary Puckett married his first wife, Shirley Puckett, in 1979; they are now divorced. He married Lorrie Haimes on May 18, 2000.[14] Gary has two stepdaughters from his wife's previous marriage. He currently lives in Clearwater, Florida.[15]

Since 1990, Puckett has been a born-again Christian, after having followed the teachings of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi for many years. While meditating in 1985, Puckett said he heard the Lord tell him there was a better path to follow.[16]


The Outcasts[edit]


  • "Run Away" / "Would You Care" — 1965
  • "I Can't Get Through To You" / "I Found Out About You" — 1966

With Gary Puckett & The Union Gap[edit]


Year (A-Side)




Chart Positions
November 1967 † "Woman, Woman"

(Jim Glaser, Jimmy Payne)

"Don't Make Promises"

(Tim Hardin)

March 1968 † "Young Girl"

(Jerry Fuller)

"I'm Losing You"

(Jerry Fuller, Gary Puckett)

June 1968 ‡ "Lady Willpower"

(Jerry Fuller)

"Daylight Stranger"

(Jerry Fuller, Gary Puckett)

September 1968 ‡ "Over You"

(Jerry Fuller)

"If The Day Would Come"

(Kerry Chater, Gary Puckett, Gary Withem)

March 1969 ‡ "Don't Give In to Him"

(Gary Usher)

"Could I"

(Jerry Fuller, Gary Puckett)

August 1969 ‡ "This Girl Is a Woman Now"

(Victor Millrose, Alan Bernstein)

"His Other Woman"

(D. Allen, Kerry Chater)

March 1970 ‡ "Let's Give Adam and Eve Another Chance"

(Richard Mainegra, Red West)

"The Beggar"

(E. Colville, Gary Puckett)



Year Single Chart Position
June 1974 ‡ "Young Girl" (CBS UK re-release)


Month and Year Album title U.S. Pop Albums AUS
February 1968 † Woman, Woman 22 -
May 1968 ‡ Gary Puckett & The Union Gap Featuring "Young Girl" 21 -
November 1968 ‡ Incredible 20 -
December 1969 ‡ The New Gary Puckett and the Union Gap Album 50 -
July 1970 ‡ Gary Puckett & The Union Gap's Greatest Hits 50 -
1981 ‡ The Best of Gary Puckett & The Union Gap - 32

† – Billed as The Union Gap featuring Gary Puckett

‡ – Billed as Gary Puckett & The Union Gap


Puckett performing at the Rebecca Cohn Auditorium in Halifax on May 11, 2016


  • "I Just Don't Know What to Do with Myself" (US Billboard #61, US AC #14) / "All That Matters" – Columbia 45249 – October 1970
  • "Keep the Customer Satisfied" (US Billboard #71, US AC #28) / "No One Really Knows" – Columbia 45303 – February 1971
  • "Life Has Its Little Ups and Downs" (US AC #24) / "Shimmering Eyes" – Columbia 45358 – 1971
  • "Gentle Woman" (US Record World #109) / "Hello Morning" – Columbia 45438 – 1971
  • "I Can't Hold On" / "Hello Morning" – Columbia 45509 – 1971
  • "Leavin' In The Morning" (US Record World #140) / "Bless This Child" – Columbia 45678 – 1972


  • The Gary Puckett Album (1971)
  • Melodie (1982)
  • Love Me Tonight (1992)
  • As It Stands (1995)
  • Time Pieces (1996)
  • Is This Love (1997)
  • Europa (1998)
  • At Christmas (2001)
  • The Lost Tapes (2005)
  • This Is Love (2006)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Union Gap | Pinterest". I.pinimg.com. Retrieved November 26, 2022.
  2. ^ Ruggiero, Bob (February 12, 2016). "Gary Puckett and the Union Gap Know Love Is a Battlefield". Houston Press.
  3. ^ Tammy Ayers (September 16, 2019). "It Happened Here: Remembering the glory days of Gary Puckett and the Union Gap". Yakima Herald–Republic. Retrieved July 17, 2023.
  4. ^ a b "Gary Puckett Biography, Songs, & Albums". AllMusic. Retrieved February 5, 2023.
  5. ^ a b "The Outcasts (8)". Discogs. Retrieved February 2, 2023.
  6. ^ Pedersen, Erik (February 12, 2022). "Kerry Chater Dies: Gary Puckett & The Union Gap Co-Founder & Country Songwriter Was 77". Deadline. Retrieved August 16, 2022.
  7. ^ "Gary Puckett and the Union Gap (2023)". Canberra Southern Cross Club. July 2, 2021. Retrieved July 16, 2022.
  8. ^ "Happy Together Tour | An Outrageous Concert Experience!". Retrieved February 5, 2023.
  9. ^ a b c d "Gary Puckett Music - Biography". Garypuckettmusic.com. Retrieved February 5, 2023.
  10. ^ "Gary Puckett "Keep The Customer Satisfied" on The Ed Sullivan Show". Retrieved February 2, 2023 – via YouTube.
  11. ^ "Ringo Starr And His All Starr Band". www.victorbaissait.fr. Retrieved September 10, 2023.
  12. ^ "Singer Gary Puckett Looks Back On His Band's Success | Studio 10". Retrieved August 16, 2022 – via YouTube.
  13. ^ "Gary Puckett | Cameo". Cameo.com. Retrieved February 5, 2023.
  14. ^ "Gary Puckett". IMDb. Retrieved August 16, 2022.
  15. ^ "Gary Puckett and the Union Gap | Encyclopedia.com". Encyclopedia.com. Retrieved July 16, 2022.
  16. ^ Kelly, Ray (September 17, 2017). "Gary Puckett talks music, faith and vets before The Big E performances". masslive. Retrieved August 30, 2023.
  17. ^ a b Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 442. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  1. ^ Chart position is from the official UK "Breakers List".

External links[edit]