"People have asked us to do an Elvis show for several years," said Gayville Hall proprietor Doug Sharples, who's venue has become known for its Hank Williams and Johnny Cash tributes, "but we never felt comfortable about doing it until we saw Howie Gamber perform here in April. He was terrific, one of the best that we've had, and he is famed for his Elvis shows going back 30 years, so we decided to give it a shot."
Gamber first started to make a name for himself in the late 1950s when he 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 Minnesota. He then joined Johnny White and the Sons of the West, singing six or seven nights a week at the Club Cabana in Sioux Falls. He quit that band after the twist became the craze, and he headed back to Huron to sing and play drums in a band with his brothers.
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 in Aberdeen 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 scene in such clubs as Frenchie's, the Sundown Club, the J & M Club, and the Rainbow Bar, where he played every night of the week for five years.
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, with which he toured extensively and is still widely known. He later returned to Huron, where he has been based now for two decades.
Gayville Hall is located at 502 Washington Street in Gayville. Tickets are $10 at the door, or $12.50 reserved. Call 605-267-2859.