Union Gap - The Journey
Let the music speak for itself...
There are currently three bands with the name 'Union Gap. The original - Gary Puckett & Union Gap (sometimes also referred to as Union Gap featuring Gary Puckett), Union Gap UK and Ges Rogers' Union Gap.
Gary Puckett and Union Gap
Singer Gary Puckett (born October 17, 1942, Hibbing, Minnesota) grew up in Yakima, Washington – close to 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, 1944, 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. It became their first hit, reaching No. 3 in Cash Box magazine and No. 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.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.
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Union Gap In The UK
Gerard Rogers founded New Union Gap in the UK, essentially in an attempt to woo Gary Puckett to the UK, as the original band had disbanded. Gerard Rogers (Ges) worked with some great musicians over the years - many part time - and the final line up and committed Union Gap band was eventually formed in1999. New Union Gap became 'Union Gap' and Gerard holds the rights to that name.
Gerard " Ges" Rogers retired from his Union Gap in January 2007 leaving his long-standing bandmates Tom Harding, Mike Ellis and Graham James to continue the legacy Ges had created on condition they change the name to Union Gap UK. Some years later Simon Paul and Paul Grogan re-joined the line-up having previously been recruited into the band by Ges...and the Union Gap UK line up of Harding, Ellis, Paul & Grogan remains the same to this day.
Ges Rogers' Union Gap
Ges Rogers decided to form a new version of 'Union Gap' based in Spain which is known as Ges Rogers' Union Gap.
The line up has changed over the years that Ges Rogers' Union Gap started in Spain. Some excellent musicians and vocalists have been a part of the phenomenon that is Ges Rogers' Union Gap. The current line which Ges declares to be his best ever is Gary Woodward, Clive Coomber and Andy Winwood. All exceptional musicians in their own rights but together they let the music flow and do the talking for Ges Rogers' Union Gap.