The Gentrys "Keep On Dancing" turns 42
The Gentrys "Keep On Dancing" would go on to conquer the Billboard Charts with a gold record peaking at #4. Quite an accomplishment for a group of high school seniors from Treadwell High. The band was formed in 1963 by vocalist-guitarist Larry Raspberry and joined by members Jimmy Hart, Bruce Bowles, Larry Wall, Pat Neal, Bobby Fisher and Jimmy Johnson. They were a handsome crew and lived-up to their name with band outfits of matching blue blazers, turtle neck sweaters and high-heeled Beatle boots. The band's leader, Larry Raspberry (as seen below), was quite the showman and many local musicians aspired to parallel his band's success.
Oozing with talent and gifted with an unflappable sense of humor, Raspberry's leadership was the spearhead of the band. On nights when the group struggled with various stage elements, band members simply jumped on his back as he carried the weight throughout the performance. Pictured above is a classic photo revealing Raspberry pointing a orchestra baton to a poster of keyboardist Stuart Payne's mutilated foot. Quite typical of Raspberry's wacky shenanigans.
In this later version of The Gentrys (seen below), perhaps this group was the tightest unit to hit the road and stayed together for an extended period. (L-R) Jimmy Hart, Sonny Pittman, Bruce Bowles, Larry Raspberry, Stuart Payne and Mike Gardner.
In another classic photo, below Road Manager Phillip Rauls trys to hold back a muted laugh while band leader Larry Raspberry squats beside him and accidentally let's one go prior to the camera snapping the picture. Got Beano?
Copyrighted (c) photos and material by Phillip Rauls - All Rights Reserved