Notable early in his career as a film and music producer, he later became a pioneer in the audiobook production industry. In the music business, he is most known for his Incredible Bongo Band and for the popular percussion section of its single "Apache."
After attending Harvard University and Georgetown University, he became a campaign worker for 1968 presidential hopeful Robert F. Kennedy. Following Kennedy's tragic assassination, Viner began working in MGM's music division.
He produced Richard Nixon's 1973 presidential inaugural ball.
Born to Melvin and Jeanne Viner, he spent his early days in Washington, D.C., and the bulk of his childhood in Southern California. His marriage to screen actress Deborah Raffin began in 1974, produced a child named Taylor Rose, and ended in divorce in 2005.
Viner's early audiobook company, Dove Books-on-Tape, began its rise to prominence after producing a recording of scientist Stephen Hawking's acclaimed work A Brief History of Time.