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Gary Puckett & The Union Gap

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Gary Puckett & The Union Gap
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Gary Puckett & The Union Gap (initially credited as The Union Gap featuring Gary Puckett) was an American pop rock group active in the late 1960s. Their biggest hits were "Woman, Woman"; "Over You"; "Young Girl"; and "Lady Willpower."

It was formed by Gary Puckett, Gary 'Mutha' Withem, Dwight Bement, Kerry Chater, and Paul Wheatbread, who eventually named it The Union Gap. It featured costumes that were based on the Union Army uniforms worn during the American Civil War.

They were noticed by Jerry Fuller, who gave them a recording contract with Columbia Records. The group eventually grew unhappy with doing material written and produced by other people, leading them to stop working with Fuller. The band eventually disbanded and Puckett went on to do both solo work and collaborations.

Singer Gary Puckett (born October 17, 1942, Hibbing, Minnesota) grew up in Yakima, Washington – close to the city of Union Gap – and Twin Falls, Idaho. He began playing guitar in his teens, and graduated from Twin Falls High School before attending college in San Diego, California. There, he quit college and played in several local bands before joining the Outcasts, a local hard rock group, which produced two singles, but they were unsuccessful.

Following the breakup of the Outcasts, Puckett formed a new group called Gary and the Remarkables, comprising bassist Kerry Chater (born August 7, 1945, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada), keyboardist Gary 'Mutha' Withem (born August 22, 1946, San Diego),  tenor saxophonist Dwight Bement (born December 28, 1945, San Diego),  and drummer Paul Wheatbread (born February 8, 1946, San Diego).

In 1966, the band toured the Pacific Northwest without Wheatbread, who was recruited as the house drummer on the television series, Where the Action Is; he later rejoined the line-up. Under manager Dick Badger the band was renamed The Union Gap in early 1967, and kitted themselves out with Union Army-style Civil War uniforms as a visual gimmick. They then recorded a demo, which was heard by CBS record producer and songwriter Jerry Fuller. Impressed by Puckett's tenor voice and the band's soft rock leanings, Fuller signed them to a recording contract with Columbia Records.

The band recorded their first single, "Woman Woman", a song written by Jim Glaser and Jimmy Payne, in August 1967.[2] It became their first hit, reaching #3 in Cash Box magazine and #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It was quickly certified as a million-selling Gold disc.

This was followed during the next two years by "Young Girl" (#1 in Cash Box, #2 in Billboard), "Lady Willpower" (#1 in Cash Box, #2 in Billboard), "Over You" (#5 in Cash Box, #7 in Billboard), and "Don't Give in to Him" (#15).  All were produced by Fuller, who also wrote "Young Girl," "Lady Willpower," and "Over You". Although the band never had a Billboard #1 record in the United States, "Young Girl" hit #1 on the UK singles chart for 4 weeks in May/June 1968. "Young Girl" was the second million selling disc for the band, which it reached less than two months after issue; "Lady Willpower" and "Over You" also won gold discs.[5] The band headlined at a White House reception for Prince Charles  and at Disneyland in 1968, and was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best New Artist in 1969, losing out to José Feliciano.

The band, however, wanted to write and produce its own material, and Puckett resented singing the power ballads written by Fuller. In 1969 Fuller prepared a 40-piece studio orchestra to record a new song he had written, but Puckett and the group refused to record it, the session was canceled, and Fuller never again worked with the group.  The band returned to the charts with "This Girl Is a Woman Now," produced by Dick Glasser, but later releases failed to make the Billboard Top 40. Chater and Withem left the band; Bement took over on bass guitar and keyboardist, Barry McCoy, and horn player, Richard Gabriel, were added. In 1970 Puckett began recording as a solo act, but with limited success; the Union Gap remained his live backing band until they were dismissed following an appearance at the 1971 Orange County Fair. Puckett's recording contract was terminated one year later.
#1 - April 25, 2017, 10:26:54 AM
 
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Lady Willpower


"Lady Willpower" is a song written by Jerry Fuller and recorded by Gary Puckett & The Union Gap for their 1968 album, Incredible. It is sung from the point of view of a man who is frustrated that the woman he is seeing will not agree to have sex with him. He promises, if she complies, to "shower [her] heart with tenderness," but it is also implicit that the relationship will end ("It's now or never") if she does not.

The song hit #1 on the Cash Box Top 100 and #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1968.  It also reached #5 on the UK Singles Chart during the year.

The single was awarded a million-selling Gold disc from the RIAA.

It ranked among Cash Box magazine's Top 100 singles of 1968, where it hit the #1 position the week ending August 3, 196
#2 - April 25, 2017, 10:30:10 AM
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Gary Puckett & The Union Gap - Young Girl


"Young Girl" is an RIAA million-selling Gold-certified single, written by Jerry Fuller, performed by Gary Puckett & The Union Gap with instrumental backing by members of The Wrecking Crew, and released in 1968.

The song hit #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 for three weeks, stuck behind (Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay by Otis Redding for the first week and Honey by Bobby Goldsboro for the remaining two.  It also hit #1 on the UK Singles Chart  and the US Cash Box listing.  It reached #34 US Easy Listening.

The song is sung from the point of view of a man who has become distressed upon finding out that the girl he is with is under the legal age of consent. He is asking her to leave before things go any further, "Get out of here / before I have the time / to change my mind / 'cause I'm afraid we'll go too far."

In the UK, the recording enjoyed a second chart run in 1974, when it peaked at No. 6.

Gary Lewis and the Playboys released a version of the song on their 1968 album, Gary Lewis Now!
#3 - February 27, 2018, 09:17:42 AM
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