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Old 05 November 2016, 02:46 AM
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Cervus Cervus is offline
Join Date: 21 October 2002
Location: Florida
Posts: 21,191

Originally Posted by GenYus234 View Post
If Pontiac were going to write a car song for advertising, why would they use an unknown artist instead of an established group?
It costs far less to hire an unknown act.

However, a quick search reveals that "GTO" was written by teenager John "Bucky" Wilkin, whose mother had a music publishing company and allowed her son to record the song backed by studio musicians.

Bucky, a senior in high school in Nashville at the time Pontiac unveiled its GTO, wrote a song about the car, sprinkling the lyrics with plenty of "gearhead" slang phrases [...]

Here's where having a successful music-biz mom comes in handy. Marijohn started a publishing company, Buckhorn Music, with former Sun Records ace Bill Justis (of "Raunchy" fame), who produced the young Wilkin with top Tennessee session musicians and backing vocalists in a west coast style consistent with the Beach Boys-inspired surf and drag hits of the day. Bucky made up an appropriate-sounding name, Ronny and the Daytonas, leading to the inaccurate impression that an actual group existed...from Florida, home of the Daytona International Speedway, no less! "G.T.O." (flipped with "Hot Rod Baby") came out in the summer of '64 on Mala, a subsidiary of Larry Uttal's New York-based Bell Records. The guy who now had two nicknames watched as his unauthorized ode to Pontiac's in-demand muscle car spent several weeks in the top ten in September and October.
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