|Born||May 26, 1915|
Winnemucca, Nevada, U.S.
|Died||October 3, 2004 (aged 89)|
San Francisco, California
|Instruments||Double bass, electric upright bass|
Around 1940, while in Lionel Hampton's band, Alley switched from double bass to electric upright bass, one of the first musicians to do so. In 1942, he joined Count Basie's ensemble, where he played only for a few months and appeared in the film Reveille with Beverly.
Alley enlisted in the United States Navy as a musician in 1942 and after training at Camp Robert Smalls, he was assigned as part of a 45-piece regimental band to the Navy's PreFlight School located at Saint Mary's College of California. Others who served in this band included Ernie and Marshal Royal, Jackie Kelso, Wilbert Baranco, Earl Watkins, and Buddy Collette.
After returning to civilian life, Alley put together an ensemble in San Francisco. He continued to play there and was an active member on local radio and in civic arts into the 1990s.
- Miller, Leta E. (2011). Music and Politics in San Francisco : From the 1906 Quake to the Second World War. Berkeley: University of California Press. p. 175. ISBN 978-0-520-95009-2. OCLC 749264272.
- Royal, Marshal, with Claire P. Gordon. Marshal Royal: Jazz Survivor. London: Cassell, 1996.
- Fimrite, Peter (2004-10-05). "VERNON ALLEY, 1915-2004 / Jazz bassist played with great ones / He fought race bias, traveled the world -- made S.F. home". SFGATE. Retrieved 2022-05-31.