Reviving and revising the music of the 1950s and 60s, Kenny Vance and the Planotones prove that doo wop is far from dead. The 6-person group from Brooklyn got their start as a fictional band for the 1978 biopic American Hot Wax, performing hits by such popular doo wop groups as The Del-Vikings and Danny and the Juniors. The musical group would become a reality in 1992, creating original music with influences ranging from soul singer Sam Cooke to teenage poets on the streets of Harlem. This July, Kenny Vance and the Planotones are coming to the Lyric for an exclusive performance with an intermission followed by an informative Question and Answer session with the doo wop veterans.
The eponymous founder and lead singer of the Planotones, Kenny Vance, has a rich history in the music and entertainment business that began at a turning point in the development of American music. Growing up in the 50s in New York, Vance started his first vocal group at the age of 15. His talent was immediately recognized by Ivy Records, who recorded two singles for the group in 1959. Kenny Vance would go on to become one of the original members of the critically acclaimed doo wop group Jay and the Americans, opening for The Beatles during their first US performances in 1964. As well, Vance enjoyed success as the Musical Director for Saturday Night live during the 1980s and Musical Supervisor for hit films such as Animal House and Hairspray.
Now, Kenny Vance is going back to his roots, creating music that puts a fresh spin on classic oldies. Since their creation in 1992, Kenny Vance and the Planotones have been prolific, producing seven albums, including the soundtrack for the film Looking for an Echo with the signature song of the same name. Their highly-personal performances are an invitation into the group’s “basement” rehearsal studio for a night of music and memories. Kenny Vance and the Planotones are a refreshing flash-back to the 1950s and 60s with the authenticity and integrity expected from a group with such an impressive musical background.