He was the king of the 1960s with his golden voice and huge hits, and today (October 17th) Gary Puckett celebrates his 71st birthday.

Starting in 1968, Gary Puckett scored six consecutive gold records and that year sold more records than any other recording act - including the Beatles.

According to Billboard, Puckett was born in Hibbing, Minnesota - which coincidentally is where Bob Dylan went to high school. Puckett learned guitar as a teen and then dropped out of college to focus on music. Turned out to be a pretty good decision.

The success of Gary Puckett and the Union Gap was phenomenal - if not short-lived. Woman, Woman hit the charts in December of 1967, and the band's 6th and final top 40 hit, This Girl is a Woman Now charted in September of 1969. In between were top 10 smash hits like Young Girl, Lady Willpower, and Over You.

As was usually the case with rock and roll bands, there was  dissension in the ranks, the band broke up, and Gary tried a solo career, but never managed to mirror his earlier success. He continues to perform in concerts and on the oldies circuit, and   he even put out a new Christmas album several years ago.

Check out these two videos to see Gary then -- and now.