Woody Lingle (Gary Puckett)

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By Joe Gagliardo

When an 11-year-old guitar playing kid asked his friends if he could join their band, he heard a familiar refrain: “we don’t need another guitar player…we need…a bass player!

Woody Lingle, “a Beatles guy,” tuned his guitar down and began to play bass until he got his hands on the same instrument as his idol Paul McCartney: a Hofner bass. From 1967-69 Woody gigged in South Carolina with soul band The Regals, among other ensembles.

Moving to Dayton, Ohio in ‘69 Woody became involved with his church. His Minister was on the cutting-edge of Christian Music and Woody took on the responsibility of assembling musicians to premiere this “new music.”

During this time, Woody fell in love with jazz and horn bands. In addition to Paul McCartney and James Jamerson, Woody was deeply influenced by Rod Ellicott – bassist in Cold Blood, a powerful San Francisco horn collective fronted by Lydia Pense. Rod was known for his driving bass lines and live solos.

Woody pursued a Musical Therapy Degree in South Carolina. He played in the school jazz band along with local jazz groups and big band shows – including his first two union gigs within two weeks: Liberace, and the “Lipazan Stallions Show.” With a deep desire to improve his musicianship Woody enrolled in the prestigious North Texas State University – known for their jazz school.

Woody returned to North Texas State to resume his studies and discovered that Gary Willis (co-founder of the jazz fusion band, Tribal Tech) and Gregg Bissonette (David Lee Roth, Santana) were his classmates.

Woody and Gregg played together in the internationally renowned One O’Clock Lab Band at NTSU.  They also gigged regularly with Top 40 bands and did studio work in the Dallas / Ft. Worth area.

In 1983, Woody migrated to Oklahoma City to join the band Maya, a Top 40 dance band.  While in Oklahoma City, continued his work as a studio musician, playing jazz gigs and Top 40 with Chris Hicks.

Through that work he became friendly with a producer who had played in Emmylou Harris’ renowned Hot Band.  That led him to Nashville where he lived from 1994-2011.  During that time, he played and/or recorded with Margaret Becker, Charlie Peacock, Ty Herndon, Steve Wariner, Ricky Van Shelton, among others, and composed music for popular TV shows.

In 2004, Woody received a call from Gary Puckett, and for the past sixteen years he has served as Gary’s bassist, musical director, and vocalist.

In 2011 he returned to South Carolina to take the position of Music Director for the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Cordova. There, he puts all his skills to use—writing, conducting, arranging and playing.

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Since 2006, Woody’s go-to bass has been a Dean – which he endorses as a member of Gary Puckett and the Union Gap. Woody utilized a Modulus Graphite for many years. His arsenal also includes a Sire four string
Marcus Miller P7, a Dean 5 String Edge Pro, a Rob Allen semi-acoustic 5-string Fretless with black nylon strings, and his trusty Hofner, among others.

A diverse player equally at home with rock, jazz, country, pop, Latin, rhythm and blues -check out Woody with….

“The Bible According to Scofield” (Woody Lingle) https://youtu.be/7yguo05DpmA

“2 Five or Not Two 5” (Woody Lingle) https://youtu.be/4NabtcHg4-Y

“Grace” (Woody Lingle) https://youtu.be/IX1I8W2lWmQ

“Bowlegged” (GaryWillis, arranged by Woody Lingle) https://youtu.be/0i6QYgs_J7s

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