Growing up in a household filled with the sounds of Ella, Sinatra, and Mel Torme, Phil Gentile realized by the age of 6 that he had an ear for music. He sat in with local bands throughout his teen years, and later during his 3 years in the Navy.
In 1968 he teamed up with fellow player Jack Dunbar, and for 4 years developed a pop repertoire, and eventually went on an extended country-wide college tour.
In the early 70’s, he began playing with a loose gathering of local musicians from the South Shore organized by Harry Sandler (of Orpheus) and including Bobby Dunlap, Kenny Dulong, Bobby Chouinard and Bruce McPherson.
Eventually this conglomeration became Hummit, with Phil, with his 4 octave range and extensive musical repertoire, emerging as a dynamic rock’n’roll front man. He and Bruce began writing prolifically, and played clubs throughout New England. Eventually they teamed up with Boston producer Wayne Wadhams, who drilled them relentlessly and produced “Mama Lied” which was picked up by Lennie Petze (of The Rondels) on Portrait Records. Due to lack of proper promotion, however, it didn’t catch on, except in the discos of Boston, where it was a smash. The song was later covered by Tower of Power.
About this time, Phil was drawn to the religious community of Jehovah Witnesses; he redirected his energies from music to his newly found religious beliefs, and today he is an elder of the church.
Over the years, Phil has been doing session work in the Boston area.
He lives with his family south of Boston
(by Jack Petersen of The Mods)
Published on March 22, 2017