Gordy Zens began playing guitar in 1960 at age 15. He and his brother, Ken, joined Dick Gross and the Uniques in June 1960, until forming the Chevelles in 1962. The Chevelles represented South Dakota at the World’s Fair in New York in 1965.

Gordy spent his military duty from July 1966 through June 1968 in Germany, performing in the Army band. Upon returning to South Dakota in 1968, he again teamed up with brother Ken and performed with Hank Bowker and the Sunny Blue Trio until 1969.

Gordy did a tour with the Red Freeman Show in 1970 until securing employment with the federal government in July 1970. While working for the U.S. Treasury Department, he performed in the Pierre area with Dan Hall and the Joe Creek Band. He retired from the government in 1997.

Gordy has played throughout most of South Dakota and has taught thousands of students since he began teaching in October 1964. He continues to teach and has a small music store in his guitar studio.


2020/2021Lifetime Achievement Award