Black Hills Backstory: Gordy “The Fabulous One Guy” Pratt

Published: Aug. 26, 2020 at 9:34 AM MDT
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SPEARFISH, S.D. (KEVN) - ”The fabulous one guy, you know, that one guy!‘'

Gordy Pratt is a musician, songwriter, and entertainer, who has been delighting South Dakota audiences and beyond for years with his pristine guitar licks and punchy yet point driven songs.

“I played my first few gigs within a band when I was 15 in a town of 200 people in western Colorado,” Pratt says.

Pratt says "at some point, I got smitten with classical guitar music. I remember exactly when because this guy put on a record and said listen to this music. And I listen to it and thought wow these guys are great. But it was just one guy. I got totally addicted to it and spent the next 7 years roaming from Ithaca College in New York, I did a semester at the Royal College of Music in London and finished up at the San Francisco Conservatory for Music. Then I got what a lot of musicians do... I plateaued. I couldn't break into the next thing so I quit playing. My wife had moved to NYC and I went back into the theatre business."

That's how most South Dakotans know Gordy today. Producing theatre shows in Deadwood, S.D. of his own with a specific essential action.

Pratt says "my job was to attract people into this establishment, grab them by the heals, turn them upside down, shake them as hard as you can until all their money drops out and throw them back out on the street with a smile on their face."

In 2019 Gordy was diagnosed with tonsil cancer. A disease he’s been fighting all the way through the pandemic. When asked how that experience has been for him?

Pratt says “well I’ll tell ya I don’t know if I would have made it without Patty Roadifer, my better 2/3rds. It was quite an ordeal and they tell you this that the rehab and the recuperation is a lot worse than the treatment. It certainly has been but I’m definitely on the other side of it. I feel really lucky that everything worked the way it was supposed to and I think I’ll come out 90 percent intact. There’s something that’s happened to me that’s made me a little different. I haven’t sorted it out. I’d love it if I was a little more patient. That would be nice.”

So this legend lives on, entertaining us with his song and wit, like a true artist, never missing a beat.

Pratt says “I use to write 10 or 12 songs a year. Now I write a song about every 10 to 12 years. But it’s a good one.”

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