Music Industry Pioneer Peavey Awarded For Lifetime Achievement In Music

March 14, 2005

Peavey drew praise from the Guitar Player editorial staff for his unwavering dedication to musicians and his innovations in guitars and amplifiers. Along with pioneering the use of computer-controlled machinery in guitar manufacturing, Peavey also developed forward-thinking technologies for amplifier design, loudspeakers, mixers, and more, while adhering to a pricing philosophy that finally made pro-quality gear affordable to all musicians.

"Undoubtedly, the man who cared so much about music and musicians that he developed high-quality tools that would actually be affordable to working bands, hobbyists and neophytes deserves to be recognized," says Guitar Player Editor-in-Chief Michael Molenda. "But the Hartley Peavey story doesn't stop there. Peavey also innovated technologies, aggressively solved challenges and problems for players, and produced professional gear that can stand up against anything made.

"Hartley absolutely deserves Guitar Player's first-ever manufacturer’s Lifetime Achievement Award for doing so much for so many," adds Molenda, "and as a cat whose first band was powered by a Peavey P.A. system, I add my personal thanks and sincere congratulations."

Hartley Peavey established his company in a small room above his father's Meridian, Miss.-based music store in 1965, where he built his solid-state, 35-watt Musician guitar amplifiers by hand. After branching into making P.A. systems, Peavey hit its stride and became a dominant force in the music industry. Hartley, a devotee of the "vertical integration" concept, turned Peavey into a full-line manufacturing company that made "every link in the audio chain," a tradition that endures today.

"When we got into the guitar business, guitar necks were made on either manual shapers or band saws," recalls Hartley. "It was amazing to me that a decent guitar neck could even be made that way. From the very beginning of our guitar production, we used CNC routers and copy lathes, very efficient and precise ways to do the job." Today, virtually every mass-produced guitar is made using these computer-controlled methods Hartley pioneered.

"It's an incredible honor to be recognized by Guitar Player with this award," he adds. "We've pioneered a lot of 'firsts' in this industry, but there's plenty of fertile ground ahead of us. I'm proud of what we've done so far, but I'm not yet content."

While Guitar Player has honored scores of integral, influential guitarists during its 38-year publishing history, this is the first time a manufacturer has received such esteemed recognition. In addition, Peavey's adaptation of CNC routing and copy lathe technology for guitar making earned the company a slot in GP's "101 Greatest Guitar Moments" list in its April 2005 issue, at newsstands now.

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