Kerry Chater

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Kerry Chater
Birth nameKerry Michael Chater
Born(1945-08-07)August 7, 1945
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
DiedFebruary 4, 2022(2022-02-04) (aged 76)
Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.
GenresRock, pop, blues rock, blue-eyed soul, country, traditional pop
Occupation(s)Musician, songwriter
Years active1966–2022

Kerry Michael Chater (August 7, 1945 – February 4, 2022) was a Canadian musician and songwriter who was best known as a member of Gary Puckett & The Union Gap, but he has been a successful Nashville songwriter for many years.


Chater was born on August 7, 1945 in Vancouver, British Columbia. A bass player, in the mid-'60s he joined a band called The Progressives with Doug Ingle (keyboards), Gary 'Mutha' Whitem (sax) and Danny Weis (guitar). The Progressives eventually became part of Jeri and the Jeritones and then Palace Pages by 1965, after Jeri married Kerry. By 1966, Ingle, and Weis went off to form Iron Butterfly and Chater and Whitem joined The Outcasts with their friend Gary Puckett and others; this eventually became The Union Gap,[1] which was signed by Columbia Records in 1967. Over the next two years the band had 4 songs in the top 10. Chater did much of the arranging for the live shows,[citation needed] wrote or co-wrote some of the album cuts and b-sides, and on rare occasions did a shared lead vocal. Chater and Gary "Mutha" Withem, the original keyboardist, left the band in 1970 as its popularity was declining.

Chater spent the next five years studying musical theater with Lehman Engel. Chater released two solo albums in the late 1970s: Part Time Love (1977) and Love on a Shoestring (1978); neither charted.


With veteran songwriter Charlie Black, Chater wrote "I Know a Heartache When I See One", which reached number 19 on the US and number 10 on the US country charts in 1979 for Jennifer Warnes. Chater has also written hits with Glen Ballard and Rory Bourke (You Look So Good in Love), singer Renee Armand (What She Wants), and his wife, Lynn Gillespie Chater (I Meant to Do That, with Paul Brandt).

The song I.O.U., co-written with Austin Roberts, was a nominee for the 1984 Grammy Award for Best Country Song. Lee Greenwood's performance of the song won him the Grammy for Best Performance by a Male Artist.

Charting songs[edit]

Personal life and death[edit]

Chater was married to Lynn Gillespie-Chater, songwriter and co-author of their novel series "Kill Point". His mother was best selling Regency romance author Elizabeth Chater. Son Kerry Chater Jr. is a guitarist, and son Christopher John Chater is a science fiction author.

He died in Nashville, Tennessee on February 4, 2022, at the age of 76.[2]


  • Part Time Love (1977)
  • Love on a Shoestring (1978)

NOTE: Both were released on CD in 2014 by Real Gone Music.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Lassen, Kurt (June 28, 1968). "Under Twenty Interview: Union Gap Country's Hottest Group". Google Search. The Telegraph. Retrieved 30 December 2011.
  2. ^ Haley, Jen (9 February 2022). "Obituary: Kerry Chater". Williamson Source. Retrieved 10 February 2022.