HAPPY TOGETHER TOUR 2013: STARRING THE TURTLES with FLO & EDDIE; CHUCK NEGRON (THREE DOG NIGHT); GARY PUCKETT & THE UNION GAP; GARY LEWIS & THE PLAYBOYS; MARK LINDSAY (PAUL REVERE & THE RAIDERS). 8 p.m., August 26, 2013, Minnesota State Fair, Grandstand, Como Av. and Snelling Av., St. Paul, MN, $21. Tickets on sale May 18.
The most interesting addition to this tour is Gary Lewis and the Playboys. They replace Mickey Dolenz (The Monkees) from last year’s tour. Gary is the son of actor/comedian Jerry Lewis and never intended to cash in on his father’s fame. The band was hired to play at Disneyland in 1964 as Gary and the Playboys with Gary as the drummer. Dave Walker was the singer at that time and Jerry didn’t know about this gig.
Producer Snuff Garrett was informed about the band by big band leader Les Brown, also a friend of Jerry’s. Garrett hired Buddy Rich to tutor young Lewis on his drumming skills. The other change Garrett made was to have Gary sing lead. Lewis admitted that singing was not his thing but Garrett overdubbed the vocal tracks. In 1965, “This Diamond Ring” was the first of seven consecutive singles to chart big on Billboard’s charts.
The band–and Lewis’ career–was put on hold when Lewis was drafted into the army in 1967, serving in Vietnam until 1968. They reunited and tried to pick up where they’d left off but they never quite got the magic back.
Gary Puckett was born in Hibbing, MN, but grew up in Yakima, Washington, near the small town of Union Gap. Puckett joined the Outcasts which included the guys who, in 1967, were renamed the Union Gap for that small town. They achieved success, kitted in Civil War uniforms, with “Woman Woman”. “Young Girl” was their highest charting single, making it to number one in the UK.
The Turtles dominated the airwaves with covers of Dylan tunes and the single “Happy Together”. That song has been featured in countless movie soundtracks, mostly rom-coms. Flo and Eddie are Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman, the primary singers, who would continue as a duo following the band’s breakup. The stage names were used because of the contract which forbade use of their own names until they won ownership of the Turtles’ material in 1983.
Chuck Negron, along with Danny Hutton and Cory Wells, formed Three Dog Night in 1968, releasing a long list of singles which included “One”, “Mama Told Me Not to Come”, “Easy to be Hard” and “Try a Little Tenderness”.
Mark Lindsay catapulted to fame as the singer for Paul Revere and the Raiders. As the house band on Dick Clark’s Where the Action Is, Happening ’68 and It’s Happening, the Raider’s dominated the charts from 1965-1967. “Just Like Me”, “Hungry”, “Kicks” and their cover of “Louie Louie” were their trademark hits which sold many many copies each. Lindsay’s career faltered but picked up again in the mid-1990s, twenty years after leaving the Raiders. His voice is stronger than ever and he is still one of the very best rock singers to ever take the stage.