Stan Levey, one of the strongest drummers of his generation, was born in Philadelphia in 1926. As a youngster, he showed promise as a boxer, and considered it briefly as a career, but music won out. He played in Philly with Dizzy Gillespie's group in 1942, at the tender age of 17. Soon after, he went to New York, where he and Dizzy worked on 52nd Street with Charlie Parker and Oscar Pettiford. He went on to play on over 1400 recordings and work with most of the big names in the music business at that time. For example: (this is the short list)
Instrumentalists: Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Coleman Hawkins, Art Tatum, Ben Webster, Dexter Gordon, Errol Garner, Miles Davis, George Shearing, Lester Young, Roy Eldridge, Zoot Simms, Stan Getz, John Lewis, Ray Brown, Sonny Stitt, Barney Bigard, Gerry Mulligan, Vince Guaraldi, Lee Konitz, Bud Shank, Charlie Ventura, Scott LaFaro, Victor Feldman, Art Pepper, Charlie Barnett
Big Bands: Benny Goodman, Stan Kenton, Woody Herman, Quincy Jones, Georgie Auld, Charlie Ventura, Boyd Reaburn, Nelson Riddle, Billy May, Skitch Henderson "The Tonight Show Band"
Singers: Ella Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee, Frank Sinatra, Gary Crosby, Pat Boone, Barbara Streisand, The Supremes, Vic Damone, Nancy Wilson, Nat King Cole, Sarah Vaughn, etc. etc.
Over 300 Motion Pictures under: Lalo Schiffren, Henry Mancini, Nelson Riddle, Andre Previn, and many others.
T.V. Shows: Over 3000 TV shows, weekly episodes: Bat Man, Mission Impossible, Mannix, Munsters, Addams Family, etc.
He also made several albums with his own quintet, and an Album with good friend Max Roach entitled "Drumming the Blues".
Stan Levey retired from the Music Business in 1973. His last musical job was composing and conducting five movies for the Disney Corp. (Philip Abbot Director and producer.) These were educational films, one hour each.
He played with all his heroes and he was satisfied when he stopped playing.
His long time hobby of photography became his new way of making a living and like everything he touched, he did well. He currently lives in southern
California, where he runs a successful photography business. He still trains everyday. As he puts it, "I still do my roadwork."
Stan quietly passed away on Tuesday April 19, 2005.