Album: G.T.O. (1964)
Charted: 4
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Songfacts®:

  • Being one of the many to celebrate automobiles, this song describes Pontiac's automobile model of the G.T.O. (Gran Turismo Omologato). The G.T.O. was introduced at the time of the song's release and produced by Pontiac (a division of General Motors) in the US until 1974. 30 years later, Holden (GM's subsidiary in Australia) began producing it again until 2006.
  • Singer/songwriter/guitarist John "Bucky" Wilkin wrote this song as a high school senior in a physics class. Shortly thereafter, his mother, Marijohn Wilkin (a writer of country music), helped him land a publishing deal and a session with producer Bill Justis (based in Nashville). Justis hired different session artists to record this song but then requested the song to be credited under a group name. It was then that Wilkin adopted the stage name of Ronny Dayton and the group became the Daytonas. No such group existed until this song was recorded. Lee Kraft (Wilkin's friend since high school) was the only true band member of the group, being featured on the majority of the band's recordings and in their live appearances. The rest of the "band" consisted of any musician who was free to work as a session player and/or perform on tour. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Jerro - New Alexandria, PA, for above 2

Comments: 9

  • Jim Bering from IdIn 1970 I bought my first car, a 1964 Pontiac Tempest GTO. I didn't know it was such a hot car. My father insisted I buy it. I think he was living vicariously through me. To me, it was just a car. I was into climbing, not cars. My best friend at the time still talks about that car. He would drive any chance he got and go way too fast. However, we never crashed and never got stuck thanks to the positraction which was an unusual feature at the time.
  • Canuckteach from Muskoka, OnWait a minute—he doesn’t OWN a GTO yet? He’s gonna ‘save all his money’ and get one? That’ll take 15 years and his wife will say, WE Need a van for the kids!
  • Jennifur SunThe late Hal Blaine wrote in this book that he played drums for this tune. GTO was the first car I fell in love with as a kid
  • Nels from New Mexico"Pomona" = Pomona raceway in Pomona, California.

    "While the U.S. Nationals is the oldest event on the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series schedule, Pomona Raceway is the oldest venue on the circuit, nearly as old as the NHRA itself, which celebrates its 60th anniversary this season.

    Pomona Raceway was first sanctioned by NHRA founder Wally Parks in 1952, an effort to get drag racers off the street and into a safer environment. It was constructed on the L.A. County Fairgrounds thanks to a combined effort by the Pomona Valley Timing Association (the forerunner to NHRA) and Pomona Police Chief Ralph Parker. The first Winternationals weren’t conducted until 1961. Three years later, Wilkin’s ["Ronny" of Ronny and the Daytonas] writing made Pomona synonymous with the sport. It didn’t hurt that the event opened the season and attracted big fields of racers anxious to leave the cold behind and attend the 'Big Go West.' "

    https://www.dailybreeze.com/2011/02/22/where-it-all-started/

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auto_Club_Raceway_at_Pomona
  • Anonymous from Retrorulz SeattleSaw Ronny and the Datonas in Germany while I was in the US Army in the mid-60's. They were on a USO tour. I recall that the woman who was with them was noticeably pregnant.
    They put on the show in the base library so it was all close up. A good time.
  • Partly Dave from Minnesotasota, Usa"Three deuces" = three double-barreled carburetors, some times referred to as a "six pack".
    "Four speed" = a four speed manual transmission.
    "Pon-Pon" = an affectionate nickname for a Pontiac. Jim from Canada, you're just over-thinking it.
  • Jim from CanadaThe lyric as listed here (This little modified Pon-Pon) is wrong. It should be Ponton. Ponton or pontoon styling refers to a 1930s–1960s design genre—ultimately the precursor of modern automotive styling. The trend emerged as bodywork began to enclose the full width and uninterrupted length of a car, incorporating previously distinct running boards and articulated fenders. The fenders of an automobile with ponton styling may also be called Pontoon fenders, and the overall trend may also be known as envelope styling.
  • Anita W Cantor from WestThe song G.T.O by Ronny and The Daytonas was not on the charts on July 26th 1970. Yes, the song reached #4 on August 1, 1964 Top Pop Hits Billboard. The songwriter/composer (BMI) is John W. Wilkin. The vocal was by John 'Bucky' Wilkin (aka Ronny) born in Tulsa 4/26/46. He was backed by sessionmen; Bobby Russell (a songwriter), Chips Moman (a record producer, guitarist and songwriter), and Johnny MacRae (from the Crypt Kickers, among others on this recording.) The touring group that performed the song eventually became known as 'The Hombres' (Let It All Hang Out, 1967) from Memphis, TE. ; B.B. Cunningham Jr, Bill Cunningham, Huey P. Meaux, Gary Wayne McEwen, John Will Hunter and Jerry Lee Masters. The single label was on Mala Records #481. ps. Not for sure on all the members of The Hombres.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn July 26th 1970, "G.T.O." by Ronny and the Daytonas entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #89; and on September 20th, 1964 it peaked at #4 (for 1 week) and spent 13 weeks on the Top 100 (and for 6 of those 13 weeks it was on the Top 10)...
    The group had four other Top 100 records; "California Bound" (#72 in 1964), "Bucket 'T'" (#54 in 1965), "Sandy" (#27 in 1966), and "Dianne, Dianne" (#69 in 1966).
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