Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Another Forgotten Hits Shelley Sweet Tufano Review ... This time around she takes us to a Gary Puckett Concert!!!

Dear Ms Tufano,

Blue is a sky
Green is a tree
Let's all dance and sing for LIBERTY!

OUR singers - they're drunk
Their lyrics - they flunk
Henerey the 8th
Does NEVER stunk!
(and never will)

Watching TV on the big screen
Playing hopscotch in the lab
(you know what I mean)
Everything we did was truly FAB!

Beach Boys, Elvis, (Kellie's favorite)
In your reading group we never wanted to quit!!!!
We went and read outside in the hot sun
WOW, you really know how to have fun!

Well, now it's time to 'rap' this up! (Get! Get it!)
I loved your humor
With you there was no loss of wit.
Sarah O'

I received this at the end of one of my 'music in reading and history' courses.  It is a combination of rhyming and free-form poetry, but she was only in 5th grade then (10 years old).  I LOVE teaching with theatrics.  Opening class with a video on a large screen of Elton John as the Pinball Wizard, or Ed Sullivan shouting out "The Beatles!" followed by deafening screams pops us into focus and gives an adrenaline rush like no other.  So Gary Puckett wowed me with his big screen video of live appearances to open his show Sunday night at The Mohegan Sun!  'Woman Woman', 'Young Girl', 'Over You', and 'Lady Willpower' ringing out from a group of Beatle-cut young men in mock vintage military garb.  Remember it?  Even if you have not ever seen these videos, you remember it.  Somehow, somewhere, on TV or blaring out of a radio or HiFi / stereo system -- you are now remembering.  In 1968 Gary Puckett and The Union Gap, outsold all other performers.  To quote Gary, "I am a HUGE Beatles fan.  I just believe they had a quiet year."  So, TODAY IS MY BIRTHDAY!  I'M GONNA HAVE A GOOD TIME! with my friends at this concert.

I have not seen Gary since Happy Together Tour 2013, and not as a solo act in several years.  I do remember his signature entrance ... beginning backstage in song and emerging full force, mic in hand, onstage.  He is opening with 'Lady Willpower', wearing the Union Gap coat he wore on his 1968 album cover.  Oh yes, the very same one!  He verifies this before he removes it under the hot strobe lights of The Wolf Den.  Gary performs non-super hits from his albums such as 'Now and Then', and 'You Better Sit Down Kids'.  When he picks up his guitar to give tribute to The Beatles with 'Lady Madonna', I remember my daughter's words when we first saw Gary together 13 years ago, "He sure can play a mean guitar."  He sure can.  Oh, the hits you love to hear are here as well!  'This Girl Is a Woman Now' from 1969, 'Over You' from 1968, and 'Don't Give Into Him' from 1969.  A rendition of Gary Puckett and the Union Gap singing 'Who Do I Turn To' from The Roar of the Greasepaint, is up on youtube, but was never put on an album.  Gary sings it now.  It has now been recorded on a new Live In Vegas cd which is available.  Gary is full of stories of people we all know.  He and Glen Campbell went out cruising together long ago, and Gary gives him a tribute with 'By the Time I Get to Phoenix'.  In Jack Webb's biography (Dragnet), it is mentioned that his favorite song was 'Over You' by Gary Puckett and the Union Gap.  Nice addition to my information.  Gary Puckett's favorite is 'Woman Woman' which is now over 16 million in sales volume.  To go along with his Veteran's tribute of 'Home' a touching video presentation appears on the screen.  Remember vets:  Gary has that "special' VETERAN button on his website that can help you get the assistance you each deserve. 

Gary and his band perform an a cappella Doo-Wop tribute to Johnny Maestro that combines 'He Doesn't Love You' with 'Hey, Kiss Him Good-bye' (Nah, Nah, Nah, Nah).  My favorite story is of Elvis.  "I'm Gary Puckett" ... "I KNOW."  Gary's Elvis tribute is the haunting 'Battle Hymn of the Republic / Dixie' medley that provides proof to Elvis' statement, "The boy shore can sing!"  Remembering the Happy Together Tour of 2013, we finalize the concert with a tribute to Gary Lewis, Mark Lindsay, Chuck Negron, and The Turtles.  Did I say "finalize"?  You know better!  The final song MUST be 'Young Girl' which we have not yet heard.  Powerful Gary and band:  Woodrow Alexander Lingle, Michael J. Candito, and James Robert Hillboldt.

Shelley J Sweet-Tufano