Andy Paley

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Andy Paley
Birth name Andrew Paley
Born 1952 (age 62–63)
Washington, D.C., United States
Origin Albany, New York, United States
Genres Power pop, film score
Occupation(s) Songwriter, record producer, multi-instrumentalist
Instruments Keyboards, piano, organ, guitar, drums, harmonica, accordion, ukulele, banjo, autoharp, string bass, vibraphone, marimba, vocals
Years active 1960s–present
Associated acts

Andrew "Andy" Paley[1] (born 1952) is an American songwriter, record producer, and multi-instrumentalist who has been active since the late 1960s. His work includes stints as a producer for Madonna, the Ramones, Jonathan Richman, Debbie Harry and Brian Wilson. In the 1970s he was one half of the Paley Brothers, a power pop duo formed with his brother Jonathan Paley.

Personal life and early career[edit]

Andy was the son of Henry Paley, a college administrator and lobbyist,[2] and Cabot Barber Paley, a teacher and therapist.[1] He was the third of five children and grew up near Albany, New York.[1] His younger sister Sarah is married to former U.S. senator Bob Kerrey. In 2010, he married Heather Crist in a ceremony officiated by Kerrey.[3]

He began performing in his early teens as a drummer and singer for local Albany-area bands before moving to Boston. He was a founding member of and the drummer for the Boston, Massachusetts band, Catfish Black, which also included future Modern Lovers members Jerry Harrison and Ernie Brooks. The band was renamed the Sidewinders and was later joined by Billy Squier. The band performed around Boston and in NYC at venues like Max's Kansas City. They released an album, produced by Lenny Kaye, which featured songs written and sung by Paley. The Sidewinders broke up in the mid-1970s. Paley then played on Elliott Murphy's album Night Lights, and performed with Jonathan Richman after the break-up of the original Modern Lovers.[4]

The Paley Brothers[edit]

Main article: The Paley Brothers

Andy went on to form The Paley Brothers[5] with his younger brother Jonathan, a guitar/bass player and singer who also was part of the early Boston punk scene and had played with Boston and NYC bands such as Mong. They disintegrated as an act in 1979 when Jonathan joined the Nervous Eaters. Although the Nervous Eaters collapsed after Ric Ocasek, who had produced their demo, was not permitted to produce their second album,"[6] the Paley Brothers did not reform. Said Jonathan, "It was more of an evolution. Andy went on the road with Patti Smith's band and got into production work; I went and sailed around the world."[7]

Collaborative work[edit]

In 1979, Andy Paley played guitar on Jonathan Richman's album Back in Your Life, and continued to perform on and off with Richman and later incarnations of the Modern Lovers, and produce many of their recordings, through the 1980s. He produced Richman's 1985 album Rockin' and Romance. Andy then focused on songwriting, session work and record production and working with Madonna, k.d. lang, Mandy Barnett, Jerry Lee Lewis, Elton John, Brenda Lee, Little Richard and many others.

Brian Wilson[edit]

In 1988, Paley produced and co-wrote songs on Wilson's solo comeback album Brian Wilson, and continued to work with him on unreleased material in the 1990s.[8] He also co-wrote songs on Wilson's Gettin' In Over My Head (2004).

Film and television work[edit]

He produced the soundtracks for Dick Tracy (1990) and A Walk on the Moon (1999) and wrote the original music for Traveller (1997, starring Bill Paxton). In 2009 he contributed to the soundtrack of World's Greatest Dad, directed by Bobcat Goldthwait and starring Robin Williams. He also wrote the musical score for Season One of Showtime's The L Word.[citation needed]

Paley wrote and produced the music for Nickelodeon's SpongeBob SquarePants. He and Tom Kenny – the voice of Sponge Bob – co-wrote the It's a SpongeBob Christmas! Album (2012). He leads the Andy Paley Orchestra, which provides the music for The Thrilling Adventure & Supernatural Suspense Hour, a theater group in Los Angeles that performs original stage productions in the style of old radio melodramas.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b c "Cabot Paley Obituary". New York Times. 2010-02-09. Retrieved 2015-04-21. 
  2. ^ "Henry Paley obituary". New York Times. 1984-04-17. Retrieved 2015-04-24. 
  3. ^ Vincent M. Mallozzi (2010-06-25). "Heather Crist, Andrew Paley". New York Times. Retrieved 2015-04-24. 
  4. ^ Tim Mitchell, There’s Something About Jonathan, 1999, ISBN 0-7206-1076-1
  5. ^ Tim Sendra. "Paley Brothers | Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2013-11-01. 
  6. ^ Ginger Coyote (2010). "Jonathan Paley Interview". Punk Globe. Retrieved 2015-04-21. 
  7. ^ Quoted by Gene Sculatti in liner notes for "The Paley Brothers: The Complete Recordings"
  8. ^ Verna, Paul (April 22, 1995). "From Brian Wilson to Jerry Lee Lewis, Andy Paley's Career Defies Description". Billboard (Nielsen Business Media, Inc.) 107 (16): 88–89. ISSN 0006-2510. 

External links[edit]