• The Thundering Sentries

    The Thundering Sentries

    (L to R) James Wells, Alfred Stewart, Ken “Boots” Wallace , Vernon Manning, Larry McKenion, Stanley Green, Ross Mounds. Front:  Jessie Alphanso, Robert “Hub” Franklin .

    The Thundering Sentries (Harrisburg, Pa)

    Personnel :

    Stanley Green (Lead)

    Robert “Hub” Franklin (Lead)

    Ross Mounds (Lead)

    Alfred Stewart (Bass)

    Ken “Boots” Wallace (Second Tenor)

    Vernon Manning (Falsetto)

    Larry McKenion (First Tenor)

    Jessie Alphanso (Percussion)

    James Wells (Bass Guitar)

    Discography :

    Unreleased :
    1962 - Remember The Night
    1962 - Zoom Zoom Zoom
    1962 - Human


    Biography :

    The band formed in 1960 by John Harris classmates, Jessie Alphanso and Larry McKenion. They frequently played at the Oaks in York and, on their own turf, played regularly at the Superette Market/Dance Hall. The Sentries never landed a record deal, but recorded a five song demo at Gross Studios, Mechanicsburg, in 1962.

    The Thundering Sentries    The Thundering Sentries

    They were often mistakenly identified as the Thundering Centuries, a misnomer which lead to at least  one spin-off, or copy-cat group, the Lightning Decades.

    Songs :

    Remember The Night                        Zoom Zoom Zoom



  • Comments

    Sunday 7th July 2019 at 23:55

    I went to John Harris and I was a big fan of The Sentries, which is what we called them. in a Harrisburg Battle of the Bands (as held usually at the Mechanicsburg VFW Hall) , their only real competition was the El Dantes who were a William Penn HS group. We always heard about that "RCA recording artist" stuff but I never heard any of their recordings in period. Note that when Gary "US" Bonds played in Harrisburg on a US Bond selling tour (really!) The Sentries were his backing band, with a slight wait because one of the band members couldn't get off work early. The Sentries "home base" was The Cameron Superette, a dance room above, yes, a grocery store by that name in the 1100 block of Cameron St. but now is an empty lot with a tree growing in it. Also note, drummer Jesse Alphonso developed what we called The Superette Beat, a drum rhythm that immediately identified the group. They were the top-class heavyweights in Central Pennsylvania, but in the 1960's they still had a problem: they were black, and a lot of local dance locations wouldn't hire them for that reason and/or they were afraid that booking them might attract black customers they did not want. About half of the local dance locations back then were strictly segregated, either by performer or customer or both. The Sentries were the best band in the Central Pennsylvania region in their era. And I believe Jesse Alphonso is still alive...

    Leonard Davenport
    Thursday 2nd January 2020 at 04:45

    I am trying to locate a picture of  groups that were back in those days.  THE DELTONES  and EL DANTES

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