Hartley Peavey

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Hartley Peavey
Born (1941-12-30) December 30, 1941 (age 82)
Alma materMississippi State University
OccupationCEO of Peavey Electronics Corporation
Years active1965–present
Known forFounder of Peavey Electronics

Hartley Peavey (born December 30, 1941) is an American entrepreneur who is the founder and CEO of Peavey Electronics Corporation, a musical equipment innovation and production company. A 1964 graduate of Mississippi State University, Peavey has been recognized by his alma mater as an Alumni Fellow and as the 2004 commencement speaker. He also received an honorary doctor of creative and performing arts degree from Mississippi State in 2004.

Hartley Peavey founded Peavey Electronics, one of the world's largest manufacturers and suppliers of musical and professional audio equipment, in 1964 after building his first amplifier in 1956. Since its foundation, Peavey Electronics has been privately owned, and has grown massively from their humble beginnings in Hartley's basement in the 1950s.


Growing up, Peavey dreamt of becoming a rock star. His father discouraged him from pursuing such a career because he thought Rock 'n' roll would never last.[1] Peavey wanted it so badly that he built a working amplifier from surplus parts, but it was not particularly good. He got into bands and his first band would play for fraternity parties for $50. He would build an amp or a PA system whenever his band needed them. Unfortunately he was kicked off the band afterwards.[1]

Peavey had a turning point where he soon realized that he was a lousy musician but since he loved music still, he decided to take the building things route. In 1965 after graduating from Mississippi State,[1] he started his company with the idea of building the best product he could at a fair and reasonable price. He began while at his father's store in a small room with his first products being single-unit bass and guitar amps.[1]

Peavey got to a point of hiring a part-time employee to help him and his father soon realized that he was serious and signed his first loan of $17,000 to build his first factory. In the 70s, the company was having much success and Peavey decided to start making guitars and loudspeakers. Peavey Electronics has grown to be a global company with the effort Peavey put in the business over time and the lessons he learnt from mistakes his competitors made.[1]

Awards and honors[edit]


  • Achard, Ken (2005). The Peavey revolution : Hartley Peavey : the gear, the company, and the all-American success story. San Francisco: Backbeat Books; Berkeley, CA: Distributed to the book trade in the US and Canada by Publishers Group West; Milwaukee, WI: Distributed to the music trade in the US and Canada by Hal Leonard Publishing Co, © 2005. ISBN 0-87930-849-4.


  1. ^ a b c d e Wehrum, Kasey (October 2011). "How I Did It: Hartley Peavey of Peavey Electronics". Archived from the original on 2021-03-01. Retrieved 2023-07-26.
  2. ^ "Hartley Peavey Drive in Meridian". Pro-Music-News. Retrieved 23 September 2016.
  3. ^ "Hartley Peavey". Guitar Center. Retrieved 23 September 2016.

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