Country singer Howie Gamber at Gayville Hall Saturday, April 1

Country singer Howie Gamber at Gayville Hall Saturday, April 1
Country singer Howie Gamber of Huron performs an 8 p.m. concert on Saturday, April 1, at Gayville Hall in Gayville. John and Susan McNeill open.

Gamber first started to make a name for himself in the late 1950s when he picked up a guitar, dropped out of high school and went on tour with the Ree brothers of Huron as a rock-and-roll singer in a seven-piece band based in Wilmont, MN. He then joined Johnny White and the Sons of the West for about a year.

The U.S. Army drafted Gamber in 1964 and he served two years in Germany. While on leave in the Netherlands, he heard a Buck Owens song on a jukebox in Amsterdam and fell in love with the sound of the steel guitar. When he returned to civilian life in the states, he organized a five-piece band based in Aberdeen, the Howie Gamber Band, featuring steel guitar and a mostly country repertoire.

The band played Chicago, Minneapolis, and around the Midwest until 1968, when Gamber moved to Sioux Falls and became a fixture in the Sioux Falls music scene over the next decade.

In 1975, he and a partner bought the Purple Turtle in Sioux Falls and renamed it the Nashville Club, which became his base of operations. His six-piece band played there until 1979, and there he started doing Elvis Presley tribute shows, for which he became widely known and with which he toured extensively.

By 1979, however, physically and mentally exhausted, he sold his share of the business, moved back to Huron, and retired from playing music for several years. He eventually returned to performing on weekends and is again heard at casinos and clubs throughout the region. This will be his first appearance at Gayville Hall.

Gayville Hall is located at 502 Washington Street in Gayville. Tickets are $10 at the door, or $12.50 reserved. Call 605-267-2859.

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