Clayton Ivey

Born: Pensacola, FL

Lived in Muscle Shoals, AL

A successful producer, arranger, songwriter and musician.  A studio musician at FAME Recording Studio, he later joined the Muscle Shoals Sound Rhythm Section.  He was a partner at Wishbone Recording Studio and Production Company.  Received the "Super Picker Award" in 1978. Captured gold records in 1977 as co-writer and co-producer for "Angel In Your Arms" by the group Hot.  He has played with numerous artists including Aretha Franklin, the Osmond Brothers, Etta James, Hank Williams, Jr., Roy Orbison, Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross, Paul Anka, Little Richard and Mac McAnally.  His songs have been recorded by Bobby Womack, Billy Jo Spears, the Supremes, the Temptations, Millie Jackson, Lynn Anderson and others.

Source: Alabama Music Hall of Fame

Photo of Clayton Ivey

If you are a baby boomer, give or take a few years, and have ever listened to pop or R&B radio, you have heard Clayton Ivey whether you know it or not. Clayton has played keyboards on hit records that total over 200 million sales. Records that are woven into the fabric of our lives like “Funky Broadway” by Wilson Pickett, “I’m Your Puppet” by James and Bobby Purify,“One Bad Apple” by the Osmonds , “Best Of My Love”by the Emotions, “Touch Me In The Morning” by Diana Ross, “Respect Yourself” by the Staples Singers... the list goes on, beginning in the 1960's and continuing into the 2000's with a string of hits by Toby Keith. Other artists Clayton has recorded with include: Greg Allman, Lou Rawls, Clarence Carter, Aretha Franklin, Bob Seger, Bette Midler, Luther Ingram, Boz Scaggs, The Emotions, Donny Osmond, Chet Atkins, Roy Orbison, Lionel Ritchie, Amy Grant, Etta James, Connie Francis, Mac Davis, Bonnie Bramlett, Brooks and Dunn, Bobbi Gentry, The Commodores, Paul Anka, Quincy Jones, BJ Thomas, Liza Minelli, Dr. Hook, Bobby Womack, BB King, Candi Staton, Glen Frey, RB Greaves, Cannonball Adderly, Little Milton, Johnny Taylor, Shirley Ceasar, Mac McAnnaly, Hank Williams Jr., Lorna Luft, Wayne Newton, Solomon Burke, Little Richard, Bill Medley, Bobby Hatfield, Peggy Scott and JoJo Benson, BettySwan, Betty Everett, Lulu, Paul Simon, Rod Stewart, HOT, Helen Reddy, Percy Sledge, Jimmy Hall. Clayton was born and raised in Pensacola, Florida. Anyone who is familiar with Clayton and his keyboard playing might be surprised to learn that his earliest musical influences were the country records of the 50's and 60's and his dad’s western swing band. By the time he was 12 years old Clayton was playing gigs on the weekends with his dad. While in his teens Clayton played on a live country show on a local Pensacola TV station, and it was during that time that he was hired to go to Nashville to play a recording session. At that very first session Clayton played with some of Nashville’s “A Team” pickers, and he knew right then and there that he was hooked! His dream was to become a studio musician and play sessions for a living. Now, close to 50 years later, there are few musicians who can say they’ve fulfilled their dreams as successfully as Clayton Ivey. When an opportunity came along in 1969 to work with the Fame Gang rhythm section for Rick Hall, Clayton moved north from Pensacola to Muscle Shoals Alabama, the Hit Capitol of the 60's and 70's. Clayton worked with the Fame Gang for 3 years, freelanced for a while and then started working with the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section. In 1973, Clayton and his then partner Terry Woodford became producers for Motown Records, working with acts like The Temptations, The Supremes and Thelma Houston. Clayton commuted back and forth to LA for 3 years, but the south kept callin’ him back home. In 1976, Clayton and Terry started Wishbone-- a production company, state of the art recording studio, and publishing company. With an ear for great songs, Clayton had an impressive roster of writers in his publishing company including Mac McAnally, Robert Byrne, Tommy Brasfield, Donny Lowery and Barbara Wyrick. A songwriter himself, Clayton co-wrote and co-produced “Angel In Your Arms”, a hit record for the group “HOT” and Grammy-nominated for Song Of The Year in 1977. Barbara Mandrell had a country hit with the same song in 1985. Clayton moved a little further north to Nashville in 1987. An expert rhythm arranger, Clayton continues to play acoustic piano, electric piano, a select favorite few synthesizers, and Hammond B3 on sessions. A legacy that began in the 60's continues into the new millenium. He’s “been there and done that” and the many musicians that love and respect him hope that he will soon record his own album, after playing on hits for so many others for all these years. We’re waitin’ Clayton! ( The biographer, Clayton’s wife Lisa, may be just a little biased. But hey, it’s all true.)


More info:

Down By the River, Mac McAnallyThis Is Clarence Carter by Clayton IveyLaminar Flow by Clayton IveySnatching It Back: The Best Of Clarence Carter by Clayton IveyRhino Hi-Five: Hank Crawford by Clayton IveyPatches by Clayton IveyTestifyin' by Clayton IveyAt This Moment by Clayton IveyRhino Hi-Five: Clarence Carter by Clayton IveyCountry Jukebox Greatest Hits Volume Two by Clayton Ivey








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