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Biography

  • Years Active

    1964 – 1995 (31 years)

  • Members

    • B.B. Cunningham Jr. (1964 – 1966)
    • John Buck Wilkin
    • Josh Graves, Jr.
    • Larry Butler
    • Lee Kraft
    • Lynn Williams (1964 – 1966)
    • Paul Jensen
    • Thomas Ramey

Ronny & the Daytonas were a group of the early 1960s, whose members included Paul Jensen (vocals, guitar), Thomas Ramey (bass, guitar), Lynn Williams (drums), Lee Kraft (songwriting, guitar) and John "Bucky" Wilkin (aka Ronny) (songwriting, guitar, vocals), with contributions from others such as Larry Butler (organ), Ronny Clark and Buzz Cason.

The group was formed in Nashville, Tennessee in 1964 when Bill Justis (best known for his hit "Raunchy") became their manager and formed Buckhorn Music with the help of Wilkin's mother, Marijohn Wilkin, a country music writer. Signed to Mala Records, a sublabel of Bell Records, their primary contribution to popular music was in injecting country-sounds into the burgeoning surf rock scene. Their 1964 debut single "G.T.O." reached No. 4 on the Billboard Pop Singles chart. It sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc. A subsequent single, "Bucket T" reached No. 54 on the Billboard chart that same year.
After an album and tour in 1964, Ronny & the Daytonas had another hit in 1965 with a ballad, "Sandy", and an album that reflected a similar country-inflected surfer sound. In 1966 Ronny and the Daytonas switched to RCA Records and released a romantic ballad called "Diane, Diane" and the upbeat "All American Girl", both of which had some success on the charts. The band toured for a short time after this before disbanding.
The mid-1980s saw some interest in re-uniting various band members for a few engagements. The last known appearance of The Daytonas was a concert in upstate New York on July 4, 1995.
As of 2004, Buck Wilkin Music publishing was licensing Ronny & the Daytonas songs for the U.S. and Canada, and occasionally published their music on 180 gram vinyl media in limited production runs.

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