Don Peake (Donald Geoffrey Peake)
BiographyLos Angeles, California, USA
Prolific and versatile musician Donald Geoffrey Peake was born on June 7, 1940 in Los Angeles, California. Peake began his long and distinguished music career in 1961 as a lead guitarist for the Everly Brothers. Don holds the distinction of being the first white guitarist to play with the Ray Charles Orchestra, with whom he both recorded for and toured with for ten years. Peake played guitar on the classic Phil Spector recordings "You've Lost That Loving Feeling" by the Righteous Brothers and "River Deep, Mountain High" by Ike and Tina Turner. Read more... "ABC" and "I Want You Back." Among the other artists Don has played guitar for are John Lennon, the Commodores, Jan and Dean, the Mamas and the Papas, Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson, the Temptations, the Beach Boys, Billy Preston, Diana Ross, and Sonny and Cher. He's a member of an elite group of musicians known as "The Wrecking Crew." Peake studied guitar with legendary guitarists Barney Kessel, Howard Roberts, and Joe Pass. Moreover, Don did the arrangements for Bobby Darin's hit rendition of Tim Hardin's "If I Were a Carpenter," Gloria Gaynor's hugely successful disco album "Love Tracks," Jermaine Jackson's "Let's Get Serious" album, and the smash disco song "Don't Take Away the Music" by Tavares. Peake has worked as an arranger for such artists as Roy Orbison, Kenny Rankin, the Monkees, Wayne Newton, Sonny and Cher, Minnie Ripperton, the Fifth Dimension, and Hank Williams, Jr. Don collaborated with director Wes Craven on the scores for the cult horror favorite "The Hills Have Eyes" and the equally creepy "The People Under the Stairs." Peake did the chillingly effective scores for the fright features "The Prey," "The House Where Death Lives," the made-for-TV vampire picture "I, Desire," and "Sandman." In addition, Don did the scores for the Academy Award-winning short live movies "Violet" and "In the Region of Ice." Peake scored 77 episodes of the hit TV series "Knight Rider," which he worked on for three and a half years. He studied composition and orchestration with Paul Glass and Dr. Albert Harris and conducting with Broadway maestro Samuel Krachmalnick. Peake has served on the Board of Directors of the Society of Composers and Lyricists and as a judge for the Grammy Awards in the arranging category. He's also a member of both the Music Branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the Television Academy. Don Peake was inducted into the Musician's Fall of Fame in Nashville, Tennessee on November 26, 2007.