Gov. Phil Bryant today honored Peavey Electronics Corporation, a Mississippi company that helped change the way people hear music, with a marker on the Mississippi Blues Trail.
“While the Peavey company is located in Mississippi, the Peavey name is known around the world,” Gov. Bryant said. “Founded in 1965 by Mr. Hartley Peavey, this company is an instrumental force in our business community, and I appreciate not only its contributions to modern music but its confidence in Mississippi.”
Peavey Electronics contributes to the sound of modern electric blues, rock, country and jazz through its amplifiers, sound systems, electric guitars and basses. The company’s innovations in electronic amplification of vocals and musical instruments gave rise to the prominence of the electric guitar, creating profound changes in the blues and blues-based music in the post-World War II era. The company has achieved worldwide recognition for its technological innovations.
“I was born and raised in Mississippi and the state has been the home of Peavey Electronics since its founding in 1965,” Hartley Peavey said. “Mississippi is the point-of-origin of America’s musical history and I am honored to have been a part of that. The musical legacy of Mississippi still flows through the veins of Peavey Electronics and always will. ”
The Mississippi Blues Trail is a program of the Mississippi Development Authority and includes in-state and international markers, allowing visitors to take self-guided tours of Mississippi’s musical history.
“In fiscal year 2012, Mississippi hosted more than 21 million visitors who spent more than $6 billion in our state,” said MDA Tourism Director Malcolm White. “Mississippi’s musical heritage is a huge tourism draw, and this new marker will showcase Peavey’s role in our legacy.”
Hartley Peavey, born in 1941, converted his acoustic guitar into an electric instrument and built his first amplifier in 1957 after being inspired at a concert by Mississippian Bo Diddley, who was also known for building his own guitars and amps. In 1961, Peavey created his first amplifier under the Peavey brand and in 1964 was issued his first patent.
Peavey Electronics began hand-producing guitar and bass amplifiers in 1965 and began making public address systems in 1968. In 1977, Peavey began producing the T-60 model guitar and T-40 model bass and by the following year was one of the largest producers of guitars in the country.
Peavey’s innovative, computer-guided mass production techniques were soon adopted throughout the industry, and the company continued as an innovator in areas including microphones, keyboards, audio processing, drums and sound consoles. Peavey sound systems gained prominence at many of the world’s leading venues, while Peavey guitar amps became the amplifier of choice for many performing musicians.
The Mississippi Blues Trail includes more than 160 markers. The trail started with the first official marker in Holly Ridge, the resting place of the blues guitarist Charley Patton, and winds its way to sites honoring B.B. King, Muddy Waters, Son House and others. Out-of-state markers are located in Chicago; Memphis; Los Angeles; Muscle Shoals, Alabama; Ferriday, Louisiana; Helena, Arkansas; Rockland, Maine; Grafton, Wisconsin; and Tallahassee, Florida. The first international marker was erected in Notodden, Norway last year.
For more information about the Mississippi Blues Trail, visit www.msbluestrail.org, explore Mississippi’s official tourism website, www.VisitMississippi.org or call (601)-359-3297.
Gov. Phil Bryant