Friday, 17 February 2017
Young Girl/ I'm Losing You/Woman, Woman/Don't Make Promises
Frontman Puckett was born October 17, 1942, in of all places Hibbing, MN, (where Bob Dylan went to high school). Raised primarily in Yakima, WA, he picked up the guitar as a teen, and while attending college in San Diego played in a number of local bands before quitting school to focus on music. Puckett eventually landed with the Outcasts, a hard rock group comprised of bassist Kerry Chater, keyboardist Gary "Mutha" Withem, tenor saxophonist Dwight Bement, and drummer Paul Wheatbread. Despite earning a strong local following, in 1966 Wheatbread relocated to Los Angeles to serve as the house drummer on the television series Where the Action Is; the remaining members of the Outcasts toured the Pacific Northwest, and on their return, Wheatbread also moved back to San Diego and rejoined the lineup. For reasons unknown, manager Dick Badger -- convinced his charges needed a strong visual hook -- then sent the group to Tijuana, where they were outfitted with Union Army-style Civil War uniforms.
The band immediately returned to the Top Ten that autumn with the Dick Glasser-produced "This Girl Is a Woman Now," but it was to be their last hit. The follow-up, "Let's Give Adam and Eve Another Chance," tanked, and after management dictated that Puckett's bandmates now receive a weekly salary instead of a percentage of the revenue, Chater and Withem left the band. Bement assumed bass duties, keyboardist Barry McCoy and horn player Richard Gabriel were added, and gospel vocalists the Eddie Kendrick Singers also signed on. The Civil War gear was soon jettisoned, but even so, prospects did not improve. In 1970, Puckett began recording as a solo act, but his efforts were not well-received; the Union Gap remained his live backing unit, until they were dismissed following an appearance at the 1971 Orange County Fair. Puckett's contract with CBS was terminated one year later.