Andrew Douglas Paley (born 1952) is an American songwriter, record producer, composer, and multi-instrumentalist who formed the Paley Brothers, a 1970s power pop duo, with his brother Jonathan Paley. Following their disbandment, Andy was a staff producer at Sire Records, producing albums for artists such as Brian Wilson, Jonathan Richman, NRBQ, John Wesley Harding, the Greenberry Woods, and Jerry Lee Lewis. Since then, Paley has also worked in film and television, composing scores and writing songs mostly for cartoons such as SpongeBob SquarePants and Camp Lazlo.
|Birth name||Andrew Douglas Paley|
|Born||1952 (age 66–67)|
Washington, D.C., United States
|Origin||Albany, New York, United States|
|Genres||Power pop, film score|
|Occupation(s)||Songwriter, record producer, multi-instrumentalist|
|Instruments||Keyboards, piano, organ, guitar, drums, harmonica, accordion, ukulele, banjo, autoharp, string bass, vibraphone, marimba, vocals|
Personal life and early career
Andy is the son of Henry Paley, a college administrator and lobbyist, and Cabot Barber Paley, a teacher and therapist. He is the third of five children and grew up near Albany, New York. His younger sister Sarah is married to former U.S. senator Bob Kerrey. In 2010, he married Heather Crist in a ceremony officiated by Kerrey.
—Review of The Sidewinders in Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies (1981)
He began performing in his early teens as a drummer and singer for local Albany-area bands before moving to Boston. He was a founding member and the drummer of the Boston, Massachusetts band, Catfish Black, which also included future Modern Lovers members Jerry Harrison and Ernie Brooks. The band was renamed the Sidewinders and was later joined by Billy Squier. The band performed around Boston and in NYC at venues like Max's Kansas City. They released an album, produced by Lenny Kaye, which featured songs written and sung by Paley. The Sidewinders broke up in the mid-1970s. Paley then played on Elliott Murphy's album Night Lights, and performed with Jonathan Richman after the break-up of the original Modern Lovers.
The Paley Brothers
Andy went on to form The Paley Brothers with his younger brother Jonathan, a guitar/bass player and singer who also was part of the early Boston punk scene and had played with Boston and NYC bands such as Mong. They disintegrated as an act in 1979 when Jonathan joined the Nervous Eaters. Although the Nervous Eaters collapsed after Ric Ocasek, who had produced their demo, was not permitted to produce their second album, the Paley Brothers did not reform. Said Jonathan, "It was more of an evolution. Andy went on the road with Patti Smith's band and got into production work; I went and sailed around the world."
In 1979, Andy Paley played guitar on Jonathan Richman's album Back in Your Life, and continued to perform on and off with Richman and later incarnations of the Modern Lovers, and produce many of their recordings, through the 1980s. He produced Richman's 1985 album Rockin' and Romance. Andy then focused on songwriting, session work and record production while working with Madonna, k.d. lang, Mandy Barnett, Jerry Lee Lewis, Elton John, Brenda Lee, Little Richard and many others.
In 1988, Paley produced and co-wrote songs on Wilson's solo comeback album Brian Wilson, and continued to work with him on unreleased material in the 1990s. Wilson described Paley as a multi-instrumentalist with "a lot of talent for anything you can think of. ... He's the most frighteningly talented person that I've met, and the most serious about music."
Film and television work
He produced the soundtracks for Dick Tracy (1990) and A Walk on the Moon (1999) and wrote the original music for Traveller (1997, starring Bill Paxton). In 2009 he contributed to the soundtrack of World's Greatest Dad, directed by Bobcat Goldthwait and starring Robin Williams. He also wrote the musical score for Season One of Showtime's The L Word.
Paley wrote and produced the music for Nickelodeon'sSpongeBob SquarePants. He and Tom Kenny – the voice of SpongeBob – co-wrote the It's a SpongeBob Christmas! Album (2012). He leads the Andy Paley Orchestra, which provides the music for The Thrilling Adventure & Supernatural Suspense Hour, a theater group in Los Angeles that performs original stage productions in the style of old radio melodramas. Additionally he provides music for The Dana Gould Hour podcast.
- Professor Anonymous - Living In The World (1980)
- The Real Kids – Outta Place (1982)
- The Real Kids – Hit You Hard (1983)
- Border Boys – Tribute (1983)
- Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers – Rockin' and Romance (1985)
- Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers – It's Time For (1986)
- Boys Wonder – Now What Earthman? (1987)
- Brian Wilson – Brian Wilson (1988)
- Various – Shag: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (1988)
- Chris Isaak - Heart Shaped World (1989)
- John Wesley Harding – God Made Me Do It - The Christmas EP (1989)
- NRBQ – Wild Weekend (1989)
- John Wesley Harding – Here Comes the Groom (1990)
- Nasa – Insha-Allah! (1990)
- Various – Dick Tracy (1990)
- Richard X. Heyman – Hey Man! (1991)
- The Mighty Lemon Drops – Sound… (1991)
- John Wesley Harding – The Name Above the Title (1991)
- The Greenberry Woods – Rapple Dapple (1994)
- The Greenberry Woods – Big Money Item (1995)
- Jerry Lee Lewis - Young Blood (1995)
- The Foremen – Folk Heroes (1995)
- Jonathan Richman – Surrender To Jonathan (1996)
- Paleface – Get Off (1996)
- Various – The Best Day Ever (2006)
- "Andrew Douglas Paley". sesac.com. SESAC.
- "Henry Paley obituary". New York Times. 1984-04-17. Retrieved 2015-04-24.
- "Cabot Paley Obituary". New York Times. 2010-02-09. Retrieved 2015-04-21.
- Vincent M. Mallozzi (2010-06-25). "Heather Crist, Andrew Paley". New York Times. Retrieved 2015-04-24.
- Christgau, Robert (1981). "Consumer Guide '70s: S". Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies. Ticknor & Fields. ISBN 089919026X. Retrieved March 12, 2019 – via robertchristgau.com.
- Tim Mitchell, There’s Something About Jonathan, 1999, ISBN 0-7206-1076-1
- Tim Sendra. "Paley Brothers | Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2013-11-01.
- Ginger Coyote (2010). "Jonathan Paley Interview". Punk Globe. Retrieved 2015-04-21.
- Quoted by Gene Sculatti in liner notes for "The Paley Brothers: The Complete Recordings"
- Verna, Paul (April 22, 1995). "From Brian Wilson to Jerry Lee Lewis, Andy Paley's Career Defies Description". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. 107 (16): 88–89. ISSN 0006-2510.
- Bonzai (1996). "Brian Wilson interview". The Mix. Mix Publications. 20 (20).
- Andy Paley at AllMusic
- Andy Paley discography at Discogs
- Andy Paley on IMDb