Rock with them. Dance with them. Close your eyes and let them take you to a cooler, sweeter place.
Among today’s great vocal pop musicians, they have voices of original and inviting dimension. The Planotones redefine oldies with vocal authority and freshness. Their material is influenced by the music of the 50s and 60s, but they consistently bring a unique and musically sophisticated point of view. In this sense they are classicists, opening the eyes of a new generation to a rich historical musical style. With their cool and sultry musical approach, filtered through a Brooklyn vibe, they give a gift to those who are discovering them for the first time.
As a kid in New York, Kenny Vance was captivated by the magic of rock ‘n roll. At 15, he was hanging around the Brill Building meeting other singers and songwriters and eventually formed the successful group “Jay and The Americans”. They went on to record 15 albums, tour extensively and opened for The Beatles and The Rolling Stones for each of their first U.S. performances.
In the years that followed, Kenny began an expansive career that kicked off with producing the first record for Walter Becker and Donald Fagen – Steely Dan. Kenny was just in his early twenties and remained with Jay and The Americans throughout their entire 11 year career. He went on to compose, supervise and produce a long list of scores and soundtracks for feature films and television bringing the Alan Freed story, American Hot Wax, its musical life by recreating the groups of the 50s and 60s for the screen. The Planotones were formed for the film having their first onscreen performance. In addition, Vance acted as musical director for Saturday Night Live and music supervisor for such films as Animal House, Eddie and The Cruisers and Looking For An Echo. As an actor Kenny has appeared in Hurly Burly, Billy Bathgate, American Hot Wax, Eddie and The Cruisers and has appeared in several Woody Allen films including his untitled upcoming feature.
Kenny Vance’s passion is singing and throughout a long and successful career in the entertainment industry he could never lose his love and need to sing. He re-formed The Planotones in 1992 and has brought this passion, along with his soulful vocals to new heights.
Of all Kenny Vance’s hits, he likes to hit the high notes best. His range, clarity and emotional fidelity lead The Planotones to a musical paradise.
Murray Weinstock joined The Planotones in 1992 bringing his unique vocals and keyboard stylings.
In the late ’60s his group The Fifth Avenue Band recorded on Warner/Reprise and Pony Canyon Records. With another record contract on Electra in the ’80s, he wrote and played with The Camaros. He toured extensively as keyboardist with The Manhattan Transfer, Esther Phillips, Richie Havens, Don Covay and Buddy Miles, as singing and playing on the theme song for Welcome Back Kotter with John Sebastian.
Through the vehicle of his jingle company, Lovenotes Music, Mr. Weinstock has written and produced national commercials for CBS, Kix Cereal, Toyota, KFC, Wendy’s, Salon Selectives, Finesse, Flex and others.
In the late 1980s, he built Krypton Studios where The Beastie Boys, Ben E. King, Mavis Staples, Don Covay, and Bobby Womack recorded. Through Paul Schaeffer, he was hired as singing coach and accompanist and off camera for Diane Keaton, Carol Kane and Kathryn Grody on the film, The Lemon Sisters. His writing producing and arranging credits include episodes of Kojak, The Julia Jump starring Dr. John, Japanese artist Kaora Sudo and Bread & Butter. He sang Gregorian chants for the soundtrack of Doc Hollywood.
As well as being a member of The Planotones, Mr. Weinstock is currently the in-house composer for the New York Chamber Group, Musical Chairs and is a member of two choral groups.
Garry Bonner has been with The Planotones since 1994 and has had a successful career as a songwriter and singer spanning over more than 30 years. A Bronx native, at the age of 13 he performed at the Audubon Ballroom with Louie Lyman. In the early 60s he won first prize on amateur night at the Apollo. Throughout that decade and the early 70s he secured record contracts with his group, The Magicians, and also as a solo act with Columbia, Atlantic and MGM labels.
Mr. Bonner has had an expansive career as a co-writer for the #1 chart hit “Happy Together” by The Turtles – preventing The Beatles songs “Strawberry Fields” and “Penny Lane” from the #1 spot for eight weeks. The Turtles went #1 again with another Bonner song, “She’d Rather Be With Me”. Gary penned two more top ten songs for The Turtles, along with “Celebrate” for Three Dog Night. Other artists who have benefited from his collaboration with Allen Gordon were the Righteous Brothers, Lou Rawls, Petula Clark, Bobby Darin, Lovin’ Spoonful, Leslie Gore, Captain and Tenille, The Nylons and many others. Currently Garry’s song “Happy Together”, recorded by The Turtles, is featured in the national Burger King commercial.
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