Michael Huey

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Michael Huey
Background information
Born (1950-10-24) October 24, 1950 (age 72)
Bowdon, Georgia, United States
  • Rock
  • pop
  • R&B
  • country
  • film
  • television
  • Drums
  • percussion
Years active1969–present

J. Michael Huey (born October 24, 1950) is an American drummer and producer, earning 18 Gold / Platinum Top Ten Awards. He has played with a diverse group of artists in genres including Rock/Pop/Country/R&B such as Glenn Frey, Joe Walsh, Juice Newton, Etta James, and Lindsey Buckingham. Huey is also noted for his work on film and television soundtracks as well as numerous world tours with Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Inductees.[1] He has also worked as a record producer for major record labels including MCA and Warner Bros.

Early career[edit]

Michael Huey started playing the drums while in high school playing in regional bands in Georgia most notably The Kenningtons and 8-Up With Soul who performed at local dance clubs and small venues. In 1969 the Atlanta music manager Johnny Bee encouraged Huey to audition for the pop singer Tommy Roe whose song "Dizzy" had become a worldwide hit that year.[2] The audition was a success and Roe, who was signed to the Bill Lowery Organization, hired Huey to play drums on his national ‘Dizzy’ tour.

Atlanta years[edit]

After the 'Dizzy' tour had ended Huey returned to playing smaller venues. The saxophone player Grainger “Brother” Hines of The Swingin' Medallions ("Double Shot of My Baby's Love") was in an Atlanta bar where Huey was performing and invited Huey to play drums for The Swingin' Medallions; Huey accepted and replaced Ron Nobles.[1] The Swingin' Medallions were also represented by Bill Lowery.

In 1970 Huey played drums on tracks from the album Color Him Father by The Winstons.[1] In 1971 he became the drummer for the Classics IV and during this period was also hired as staff drummer for the Lowery Group. Huey’s earlier work for The Winstons led to his involvement with the Allen Toussaint produced 1974 album Frankie Miller’s Highlife by Frankie Miller.[3] As the staff drummer for Lowery Studios, Huey played drums on numerous sessions most notably for Johnny Nash, Billy Joe Royal, The Tams, Joe South, Clarence Carter, Mylon LeFevre, Sam Moore (Sam & Dave) and Sami Jo.[3]

Los Angeles years[edit]

In 1976, Michael Huey moved to Los Angeles where he played drums on recording sessions as well as world tours for Walter Egan (including the hit single "Magnet and Steel"), Michael Martin Murphey, Johnny Lee, Chris Hillman of The Byrds, Gene Clark of The Byrds, Joanne Mackell, The Osmonds, Blue Steel, Rob Grill of The Grass Roots, Lindsey Buckingham of Fleetwood Mac, Juice Newton and many other artists.[3]

In 1981, the producer and arrranger Jim Ed Norman hired Huey to play drums on Glenn Frey's (The Eagles) first solo album, No Fun Aloud, which produced the Top 10 hits "Party Town" and "I Found Somebody". Huey continued to work with Frey for the next twelve years providing the drums on all of his solo records including the hits "Smuggler’s Blues" and "You Belong to the City" from the album The Allnighter. Both tracks were featured on the NBC television series Miami Vice as well as appearing on the Miami Vice soundtrack album which stayed at #1 on the Billboard charts for eleven weeks in 1985. The soundtrack sold over five million copies and won two Grammy Awards making it the most successful TV soundtrack album of all time.[4][5]

Michael Huey also played on the feature films Beverly Hills Cop, Back to the Future, Boogie Nights, Deuce Bigalow, Sgt. Bilko and Overnight Delivery.

He appeared in concert with Joe Walsh, Etta James and Albert Collins as part of the Jazzvisions series of concerts filmed at the Wiltern Theater, Los Angeles in December 1986 which was subsequently released on video and CD under the title "Jump The Blues Away".[6][7]

The HBO Special: “Vietnam Veterans Benefit Concert, LA Forum: Featuring Joe Walsh, Bonnie Raitt, and Friends”[8]

Hall of Fame[edit]

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame (Records & Tours): Glenn Frey (The Eagles); Joe Walsh (Eagles); Lindsey Buckingham (Fleetwood Mac); Etta James; Albert Collins; Chris Hillman (Byrds); Gene Clark (Byrds); Allen Toussaint (Producer/Songwriter); Sam Moore (Sam & Dave) [1]; [2]; [3]; [4]

Georgia Music Hall of Fame (Records & Tours): Tommy Roe; Joe South; The Tams; The Classics IV; Clarence Carter; Billy Joe Royal; Ray Whitley; Mylon LaFevre; Bill Lowery; Paul Cochran.

In 1992, Michael Huey retired from his career as a musician and attended UCLA School of Law. In 1994 he started his own music publishing and production company called HueyTunes.

Music producer and arranger[edit]

Michael Huey produced and arranged, as well as played drums on the critically acclaimed album So Rebellious A Lover (1987) for Gene Clark (The Byrds) and Carla Olson (The Textones).[9] Huey also produced the Re-Mastered Collectors’ Edition CD released in 2009.[10]

In 1985 Huey was hired to produce and arrange the music for two of the ‘Miller Genuine Draft’ NBA Semi-Finals and Championship Series (Lakers v Celtics) CBS National TV / Radio advertising campaigns.

In 1990 Huey co-produced The Best of Tommy Roe: Yesterday, Today, & Tomorrow which was released on the Curb Mod Afw label.

Michael Huey has worked as a producer and arranger for the following companies:

  • MCA/Universal Records
  • Capitol Records
  • Curb Records
  • Warner Brothers Records
  • Rhino Records
  • Fuel Records
  • Miller Corporation
  • Razor and Tie Records
  • Rockin’ House Entertainment[10]

Recordings (partial list)[edit]

Year Album Artist Credit
1970 The Winstons The Winstons Drums
1974 Frankie Miller's High Life Frankie Miller Drums
1974 High Life (Bonus tracks) Frankie Miller Drums
1974 It Could Have Been Me Sami Jo Drums
1974 Third Annual Pipe Dream Atlanta Rhythm Section Percussion
1975 Loneliness and Temptation Clarence Carter Percussion
1975 A Heart Full of Song Clarence Carter Percussion
1975 Love Trip Tamiko Jones Drums
1975 Midnight Rainbows Joe South Drums
1975 Pat Terry Group Pat Terry Drums, Percussion
1975 The Very Best of Classics IV Classics IV Drums
1977 All I Want to Do Lee Conway Drums
1977 Plain and Fancy The Bellamy Brothers Drums
1977 What a Wonderful World Johnny Nash Drums
1978 Joanne Mackell Joanne Mackell Drums
1978 Magnet & Steel Walter Egan Drums, Percussion
1978 Not Shy Walter Egan Drums, Percussion
1979 Hi-Fi Walter Egan Drums, Percussion
1979 No More Lonely Nights Blue Steel Drums
1979 Uprooted Rob Grill Drums
1980 Best of the Pat Terry Group Pat Terry Drums
1980 Last Stroll Walter Egan Drums, Percussion
1981 Nothing But Time Blue Steel Drums
1982 The Heart Never Lies Michael Martin Murphey Drums
1982 No Fun Aloud Glenn Frey Drums
1982 Sounds Like Love Johnny Lee Drums
1983 Best of Michael Martin Murphey Michael Martin Murphey Drums
1983 Wild Exhibitions Walter Egan Drums, Percussion
1984 One Way Rider The Osmonds Drums
1984 The Allnighter Glenn Frey Drums
1985 Miami Vice (Smugglers Blues) Glenn Frey Drums
1985 Rock Breakout Years Glenn Frey Drums
1985 Back to the Future (Film/Soundtrack) Lindsey Buckingham Drums
1985 Today The Osmonds Drums
1986 Overnight Delivery (Film/Soundtrack) Original Soundtrack Drums
1986 Miami Vice (You Belong to the City) Glenn Frey Drums
1987 Lonely Town Tom Kell Drums
1987 So Rebellious a Lover Gene Clark/Carla Olson Producer, Drums, Percussion
1988 Sergeant Bilko (Film/Soundtrack) Original Soundtrack Drums
1989 Jump the Blues Away Etta James Drums
1989 Jump the Blues Away Joe Walsh Drums
1989 Jump the Blues Away Albert Collins Drums
1989 Deuce Bigalow (Film/Soundtrack) Original Soundtrack Drums
1990 Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow (The Best of Tommy Roe) Tommy Roe Producer, Drums, Percussion
1995 Solo Collection Glenn Frey Drums
1995 Solo Collection (Japanese Bonus track) Glenn Frey Drums
1995 Wave of the Hand Carla Olson Drums, Producer
1995 After the Love Various Artists Drums
1997 Boogie Nights (Film/Soundtrack) Original Soundtrack Drums
1998 Flying High Gene Clark Producer, Drums, Percussion
2000 Best of Glenn Frey Glenn Frey Drums
2000 So Rebellious a Lover (Collectors Edition Re-Mastered) Gene Clark/Carla Olson Producer, Drums, Percussion
2001 Honest as Daylight: The Best of Carla Olson (1981–2000) Carla Olson Producer, Drums, Percussion
2005 Fundamental Roll/Not Shy Walter Egan Drums, Percussion
2005 Third Annual Pipe Dream: A Rock and Roll Alternative Atlanta Rhythm Section Conga, Percussion
2005 Hi-Fi/The Last Stroll Walter Egan Drums, Percussion
2009 Best Of Johnny Nash Johnny Nash Drums, Percussion
2010 The Collection Walter Egan Drums, Percussion



  1. ^ a b c Haynes, Greg (2006). The Hey Baby Days of Beach Music. Rare Reads Publishing. ISBN 0-9786047-0-9.
  2. ^ "Tommy Roe Chart History". Billboard rankings. Billboard.com. Retrieved 1 March 2012.
  3. ^ a b c d "Michael Huey Credits". Website. All Music. Retrieved 1 March 2012.
  4. ^ Eliot, Marc (1998). To the Limit: The Untold Story of the Eagles. Da Capo Press. pp. 341–344. ISBN 0-306-81398-X.
  5. ^ "Top Music Albums week of Jan. 18, 1986". Billboard chart. Billboard. Retrieved 1 March 2012.
  6. ^ Jazzvisions Wiltern Concerts Article at Los Angeles Times. Published 28 November 1986. Retrieved 20 July 2013.
  7. ^ Rebecca D. Clear (1993). Jazz on Film and Video in the Library of Congress. DIANE Publishing. pp. 77–. ISBN 978-0-7881-1436-6. Retrieved 20 July 2013.
  8. ^ "Solo, History". Website. HueyTunes website. Retrieved 1 March 2012.
  9. ^ Einarson, John (2005). Mr. Tambourine Man: the Life and Legacy of the Byrds' Gene Clark. 265-266: Backbeat Books. ISBN 0-87930-793-5.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location (link)
  10. ^ a b "Solo, Production". Website. Huey Tunes. Retrieved 1 March 2012.

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