Rock ‘n’ roll hall of famer has close ties to OT County

Gary Puckett

By Tom Hintgen

Otter Tail County Correspondent

Gary Puckett, who gained rock ‘n’ roll fame in the late 1960s, always appreciated his family ties to Otter Tail County, and Pelican Rapids in particular. This remains true to the present day for the rock star who still performs on a part-time basis.

Puckett will return to Minnesota this coming fall as part of the Happy Together Tour 2023. He will perform Sept. 13-14 at the Shooting Star Casino in Mahnomen, Minn., along with The Turtles, Little Anthony, The Classics IV, The Vogues and The Cowsills.

The Happy Together Tour starts May 31 in Clearwater, Florida, where Puckett resides, and ends Nov. 19 in Las Vegas. Puckett is currently ending one month of performances in Australia.

Puckett was born in Hibbing in 1942. He and his mother resided at the home of his grandparents in Pelican Rapids when his father, Arlon, served overseas in the military during World War II.

After the war Gary moved with his parents to the state of Washington where his father worked in the merchandising business.

Puckett first learned to play guitar, at the age of 15, in the home of his grandparents, a block east of Pelican Rapids High School. His grandfather had worked for the city police department.

Three of his favorite memories of Pelican Rapids include hikes with his grandfather along the river, visits to the pelican statue and eating banana splits at the cafe adjacent to the former Swan Drug.

In the late 1960s Puckett and his band, the Union Gap, had six consecutive gold records. Hit songs included “Lady Willpower,” “Woman Woman,” “Young Girl” “This Girl is a Woman Now” “Over You” and “Don’t Give Into Him.”