Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: The Gentrys

Keep on Dancing

First recorded by The Avantis (1963).
Hit versions by The Gentrys (US #4 1965), Bay City Rollers (UK #9 1971).
Also recorded by Pink Lady (1977).

From the wiki: “‘Keep on Dancing’ was written by written by Allen A. Jones and Willie David Young, and was first recorded in 1963 by The Avantis (not to be confused with the surf rock band with the same name), a black vocal trio from Memphis, Tennessee, who modeled themselves after the Isley Brothers, and who had toured with, and befriended, the Gentrys.

“The Gentrys’ 1965 cover is notable for the fact that it is actually one short recording repeated in order to stretch the record out to the length of the typical pop single of its day. The second half of the song, after the false fade, beginning with Gentrys drummer Larry Wall’s drum fill, is the same as the first.

“Don Crews and Chips Moman remembered a song, ‘basically a ballad,’ that Chips had cut with the Avantis and leased to Argo Records. ‘We made two or three takes, trying to get something,’ Don recalled. ‘We left it up to the fellows to come up with something,’ and somewhere along the line the band speeded up the song’s tempo. Chips said, ‘Let’s put it down and see what happens,” Don continued. ‘We made one run to get a level, about half the tune, and then recorded it. It came out at a minute and thirty seconds. I said, ‘That’s too short.’ So we just faded it out and spliced the first verse on again.'” – Memphis Boys: The Story of American Studios, by Roben Jones, 2010

“In 1971, the Bay City Rollers covered the song as their debut single and their version charted at #9 in the UK. In 1977, Japanese girl duo Pink Lady recorded a Japanese-language version of the song on their debut album Pepper Keibu.”