1969 Song of the Day is “This Girl Is A Woman Now” by Gary Puckett & the Union Gap. The song was written by Victor Millrose and Alan Bernstein and reached #9 on the Billboard Hot 100, it was even more successful on the Easy Listening singles chart where it went to #2. Gary Puckett & Union Gap were strangely popular for a brief time in the late 60’s- in a less than two year period from November 1967-August 1969 they rang up six Top 40 hits- five of those hitting the top 10 and then- they never had another hit- as a group or Puckett as a solo artist. Jerry Fuller discovered them and gave them a contract at Columbia Records- and wrote a lot of their songs. The group grew dissatisfied just doing other songwriters material and disbanded in 1971.
The thing I find most about interesting about Gary Puckett and the main reason I chose this song today is- Gary Puckett was born in Hibbing, Minnesota- in 1942 a year after a fellow named Robert Zimmerman who although born in Duluth- grew up in Hibbing. . Puckett’s family didn’t stay around though- he grew up in Washington state. Hibbing, Minnesota. Hibbing, Minnesota’s population today is just a shade over 16,000 people- at its peak it it at 21,193 in 1980. Has any town that size produced such well known people? From Hibbing, Minnesota we have – Bob Dylan, baseball star Roger Maris who held the single season home run record of 61 in 1961 until the late 90’s. Gus Hall- four time Communist Party presidential candidate, Kevin McHale one of the 50 all-time greatest NBA players- with the Boston Celtics, Vincent Bugliosi the prosecutor in the Charles Manson trial and author of Helter Skelter, Carl Wickman- founder and longtime CEO at Greyhound Lines, Rudy Perpich a Hibbing dentist who ended up serving two terms as Minnesota’s governor and Jeno Paulucci founder of Jeno’s Pizza. Pretty impressive for a town of that size.