Montgomery Gentry is an American country music duo composed of vocalists Eddie Montgomery (brother of country singer John Michael Montgomery) and Troy Gentry. Both brothers and Gentry were originally members of a country band which had local success in clubs throughout the state of Kentucky. After John Michael left for a solo career, Eddie and Troy Gentry began performing as a duo.
Signed in 1999 to Columbia Records, the duo released its platinum-certified debut album Tattoos & Scars that year. They have since recorded five more studio albums: Carrying On (2001), My Town (2002), You Do Your Thing (2004), Some People Change (2006), and Back When I Knew It All (2008) as well as a Greatest Hits package. These albums have produced more than twenty chart singles for the duo on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts, including the Number One hits "If You Ever Stop Loving Me", "Something to Be Proud Of", "Lucky Man", "Back When I Knew It All" and "Roll with Me" and ten more Top Ten hits.
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Critical reception, musical styles, nominations.
Eddie Montgomery and his brother John Michael lived in Garrard County, Kentucky. Before the duo's formation, Eddie and Troy sang together with John Michael in a band called Early Tymz. But before the band, Eddie worked at the Danville Bowl-a-rama lanes owned by David and Rose Mahan. In the early 1990s, John Michael left the group and started a solo career. Eddie and Troy, the remaining members of the group, then went through several name changes before they decided to call themselves Montgomery Gentry. In 1994, Gentry won the Jim Beam National Talent Contest and he began to open for acts such as Patty Loveless and Tracy Byrd.
Gentry was unable to find a solo record deal, so he teamed up with Eddie once again to form the duo Montgomery Gentry, which signed to Columbia Records Nashville in 1999.
Tattoos & Scars
Montgomery Gentry released its debut single "Hillbilly Shoes" in early-1999. This song, which peaked at #13 on the Billboard country charts, was the first of five singles from the duo's debut album Tattoos & Scars. Following this song was the duo's first Top 5 hit, "Lonely and Gone", which was co-written by Bill McCorvey of the band Pirates of the Mississippi, and the #17 "Daddy Won't Sell the Farm". The next two singles ??? "Self Made Man" and "All Night Long", the latter of which also features guest vocals from Charlie Daniels ??? both reached #31, and the album earned a platinum certification from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). The duo won the Vocal Duo of the Year award at the Country Music Association Awards in 2000, marking the first time since 1991 that Brooks & Dunn did not win that award. In early 2001, they also charted with a rendition of "Merry Christmas from the Family", a Christmas song originally recorded by Robert Earl Keen.
Montgomery Gentry's second album, Carrying On, was released in mid-2001. Its lead-off single, "She Couldn't Change Me", reached #2, and the album's only other single, "Cold One Comin' On", reached #23. The album earned a gold certification. Also in 2001, they charted at #45 with the track "Didn't I", a cut from the soundtrack to the film We Were Soldiers. Carrying On was certified gold.
One year later, the duo released My Town, which produced three singles, starting with its title track "My Town" a #5, "Speed" also a #5, and "Hell Yeah" a #4, all three of which were co-written by Jeffrey Steele. Like their debut, My Town earned a platinum certification.
You Do Your Thing
You Do Your Thing, their fourth album, was issued in 2004. It was also the first to produce a Number One hit for the duo, with the lead-off single "If You Ever Stop Loving Me" spending one week at the top of the country charts. Following it were the album's title track at #22, "Gone" at #3, and a second #1 in "Something to Be Proud Of". Steele co-wrote the last two singles and co-produced the album along with Rivers Rutherford, Blake Chancey, and Joe Scaife. This album became Montgomery Gentry's third platinum-certified album.
Something to Be Proud Of: The Best Of 1999-2005
Following the success of their four studio albums, the duo released Something to Be Proud Of: The Best of 1999-2005, their first greatest hits package, in 2005. This album included ten of their greatest hits, as well as "Didn't I", "Merry Christmas from the Family", and the newly recorded track "She Don't Tell Me To", which was issued as a single, and peaked at #5. This package was certified gold as well.
Some People Change
Some People Change was the title of Montgomery Gentry's fifth album, which was released in 2006. Its title track, co-written by Neil Thrasher, Jason Sellers and Michael Dulaney, was previously recorded by Kenny Chesney. "Some People Change" peaked at #7, and was followed by the two-week Number One hit "Lucky Man" and the #3 "What Do Ya Think About That". Despite a gold certification and the success of its three chart singles, Some People Change was the duo's lowest-selling album. Joe Galante, president of Sony BMG's Nashville division, thought that the album's poor sales were because it "strayed musically from what the base had been. They have an edge to their sound, and I think we got a little too soft."
On November 27, 2006, Gentry pleaded guilty to a charge of falsely tagging a bear as if it had been killed in the wild. It had actually been killed on a private game reserve. Under the plea agreement, he agreed to pay a $15,000 fine, give up hunting, fishing and trapping in Minnesota for 5 years, and forfeit both the bear hide and the bow used to shoot the animal in 2004. A statement has been put up on the official Montgomery Gentry website. Troy Gentry quotes, ???I did participate in improperly tagging the animal I shot, without realizing the seriousness of what I was doing. For that, I am truly sorry.???
The indictment states that Greenly, owner of the Minnesota Wildlife Connection in Sandstone, sold the bear to Gentry for approximately $4,650. The bear was one of several tame animals housed by Greenly for use in his wildlife photography business. Following the sale, Gentry allegedly killed the bear with a bow and arrow while the animal was enclosed in a pen on Greenly's property. The bear's death was videotaped, and federal prosecutors allege that the tape was later edited to make it appear as though Gentry killed the animal in a normal hunting situation.
Back When I Knew It All
In 2008, the duo went to the Ardent studios in Memphis, Tennessee to record their sixth album, Back When I Knew It All. This album's title track, co-written by Trent Willmon, became the duo's fastest-climbing single, reaching Number One in its twentieth chart week. Following it was "Roll with Me", on which rock singer Five for Fighting provides background vocals. This song also reached the top of the country charts in its twentieth week. "One in Every Crowd", co-written by former Trick Pony bassist Ira Dean, was issued in January 2009 as the third single, reaching #5 on the country charts. The fourth single, "Long Line of Losers", was co-written by Kevin Fowler. Toby Keith sings guest vocals on the track "I Pick My Parties", and Lillie Mae Rische of the band Jypsi appears on the final track "God Knows Who I Am".
Grand Ole Opry
On May 26, 2009, Montgomery Gentry was formally invited by Charlie Daniels to become members of the Grand Ole Opry. The duo was inducted as Opry members on June 23, 2009. They were formally inducted into the Opry by Marty Stuart and Little Jimmy Dickens.
1999 - Academy of Country Music award for Top New Vocal Duo or Group
2000 - Country Music Association award for Vocal Duo of the Year