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The Gants

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The Gants were a no-hit wonder American garage rock band of the 1960s.

One of the few outfits of its kind to emerge from the Deep South, the group was originally known as The Kingsmen (but not to be confused with likewise-named Kingsmen who had the legendary hit “Louie, Louie”) when the band got together in 1963 to play R&B covers and the kind of instrumental tunes popularized by The Ventures. Their original line-up was Sid Herring (lead vocals and guitar), Johnny Freeman (guitar), Vince Montgomery (bass guitar) and Don Wood (drums).

Several events combined to push the band out of the total obscurity of playing other people’s songs at Greenwood, Mississippi dances and into the relative obscurity of 1960s garage-rock history. First, Freeman had to quit, because his parents wouldn’t let him play out-of-town shows, and was replaced by Johnny Sanders. Since a name-change was called for (thanks to those other Kingsmen) the band chose The Gants, after a popular brand of shirt with a button-down collar, which is also the French word for “glove”. At the same time, Herring, who some say resembled Peter Noone of Herman’s Hermits and sounded like John Lennon of The Beatles, developed a great interest in The Beatles and began writing original (if somewhat derivative) songs. In early 1965, The Gants were overheard by a U.S. tour coordinator for The Animals while playing in a hotel ballroom and were chosen to open for that band’s Florida tour.

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  • BillStrange

    It's a shame a lot of these gems aren't available here. I wonder.

    12 Jul 2008 Reply