Peavey Electronics Corporation was founded in 1965 by Hartley D. Peavey, who still remains chief executive officer and sole owner, and runs the company from his home town of Meridian, Mississippi. Today the company owns hundreds of patents and manufactures over 2000 individual products, including amplifiers, PA systems, guitars, microphones, accessories, drum components, MIDI devices, and more.
At the age of 14, Hartley modified a classical guitar to use steel strings rather than nylon. He also, amazingly, built a pickup, and attached it to the guitar. As a final step, the young man built an amplifier to play the guitar through, and all because his father refused to buy him the equipment needed to play rock n roll. This would sow the seeds of a bright future.
In 1964, Hartley began making and selling amplifiers out of his father's basement. In 1965 the company was officially established and began operation in earnest.
Peavey is one of the very few famous music companies to survive the 60's and 70's without being consumed by gigantic mega-corporations, such as Fender Guitars, being bought by CBS (yes, that CBS, and they very nearly killed the company).
Today, Peavey has one of the most aggressive product innovation policies in the business, releasing 80-100 new products a year. Several of Peavey's products are considered mainstays in the music business.
The Peavey 5150 amplifier, most famously endorsed by Eddie Van Halen, is a staple in the hard rock world.
The Peavey Classic series, including the Classic 30, Classic 50 and Delta Blues amplifiers, are well-loved in the blues and classic rock worlds alike.
It seems like everybody owned a Peavey Rage amplifier as their first amp, because they're loud enough to annoy the neighbors, but cheap enough to be bought on a paper route salary.
The Peavey company is a throwback to the way music companies used to be, owned and operated by a music lover, for the service of music lovers.