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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.

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 #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 #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 1968 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 and the Daytonas songs for the U.S. and Canada and occasionally publishes their music on 180 gram vinyl media in limited production runs.

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