Biography All Music Guide
All Music Guide:
Two-time Grammy winner/arranger/producer/songwriter/guitarist Jay Graydon's credits include hits by Chicago, Earth, Wind & Fire ("After the Love Is Gone," co-written with David Foster and Bill Champlin), Steely Dan, Dionne Warwick, Air Supply, Chaka Khan, Al Jarreau ("Mornin'"), Breakin' Away, Heart's Horizon, High Crime, Jarreau, This Time, the Manhattan Transfer ("Twilight Zone"), George Benson ("Turn Your Love Around"), Cher, Christopher Cross, DeBarge ("Who's Holding Donna Now"), Barry Manilow (Even Now), and El Debarge, among many others. He also was involved with the soundtracks to Ghostbusters, Miami Vice, and St. Elmo's Fire. Graydon co-wrote "She's in Love," a track on Brenda Russell's Hidden Beach/Epicdebut album Paris Rain issued on July 18, 2000.
Born October 8, 1949, in Burbank, CA, to Grace and Joe Graydon, Jay Graydon made his professional music debut at the age of two singing with his father on his TV show. Graydon comes from a musical family; his brother Gary plays guitar nonprofessionally and his father was a singer and songwriter. As he grew up, his interest expanded to include electronics and bowling. In the early '60s, Joe Graydon had a Saturday radio show on KDAY and Jay would engineer his show, playing the records, running the tape machines, and airing commercials. His father recorded for various record labels and Jay would accompany him to the recording studio, asking the audio engineers questions. One Christmas, he was given a mono tape recorder, mixer, and two mics that he used to record local bands.
At the age of 14, Graydon started playing the guitar. With Dennis Kelly and Joe Lopez, he formed the Veltones with drummer Doug Wagner, who was later replaced by Bob Carrafield. They played pop/R&B and surf music and did some recording, but nothing was released commercially. During his high school years, Graydon took music classics and learned big-band arrangement from Robert Rose. While in college, Graydon got a call from the Seven Souls keyboard player Bob Hogins who was a former bandmate. Joining the band, Graydon learned a lot about "feel."
Trombone player Glenn Farris invited him to audition for Don Ellis's big band. Working with such top players honed Graydon's skills. During a early-'70s club date backing singer Maxine Weldon, Graydon met keyboardist David Foster. Foster came backstage and introduced himself. A couple days later, Foster called to invite him to a recording session and to bring along his ARP 2600 synthesizer, guitar, and amp. Graydon and Foster would work together on innumerable sessions in the years to come. Graydon's Grammys include: Best R&B Song Awards for "After the Love Is Gone" (which also nominated for Song of the Year) and "Turn Your Love Around." As the 21st century began, Jay Graydon was working on a book with engineer/musician/author Craig Anderton.