The Gentrys

Keep on Dancing

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The Gentrys didn't take the prize when they competed on The Ted Mack Amateur Hour, but the resulting exposure led to the group's signing with the local Youngstown label. The evergreen "Keep on Dancing," their second single, hit the Top Five in 1965 after MGM picked it up for national distribution. The song was a cover of a 1963 recording by the Avantis and, in the Gentrys' hands, exemplified the stripped-down, three-chord rock & roll of the garage band revolution. Keep on Dancing is a reissue of the group's MGM album of the same name, the first of two long-players they recorded for the label and the only one to chart. The album contains the their big hit, one side of their first Youngtown single ("Sometimes"), and an assortment of ballads and garage band standards such as "Hang on Sloopy," most of which are based on the same basic chord progression. The influence of the British Invasion -- particularly early Beatles -- is apparent, as are flashes of soft pop vocal harmonies and Byrds-y arpeggiated guitars. Two bonus tracks round up the group's remaining Top 100 hits for MGM: the unvarnished rock & roll of "Spread It on Thick" and a cover of Arthur Alexander's more nuanced "Everyday I Have to Cry."

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