Hartley and Mary Peavey have been named the 2019 recipients of the Governor’s Choice Award in the Mississippi Arts Commission’s annual Governor’s Arts Awards. With this award, Governor Phil Bryant recognized not only the Peavey family’s dedication to music as an art, but also the Peavey organization’s continued appreciation for and gratitude towards musicians and local communities in Mississippi.
Established in 1988, the Governor’s Arts Awards are presented to individuals and organizations to recognize outstanding work in the artistic disciplines as well as arts-based community development and arts patronage. Recipients are not required to be Mississippi residents, but they must have significant ties to the state through some years of residency. Notable past recipients include John Grisham, B.B. King, Bo Diddley, Morgan Freeman and Malaco Records.
Courtland Gray, COO of Peavey Electronics, congratulated the Peaveys on the honor, saying, “Hartley and Mary are active supporters and advocates of arts education, donating time and resources to ensure children have opportunities to learn in and through the arts. All of us here at Peavey are proud to see them recognized with this well-deserved award.”
An influential part of Mississippi music history, Hartley Peavey established Peavey Electronics Corporation in 1965, using the attic space above his father’s Meridian, Mississippi, music store as his first base of operations. In business now for 54 years, Hartley remains at the helm of the company he grew from a one-man operation into one of the world’s largest manufacturers and suppliers of musical instruments and professional sound equipment. Since building his first guitar amplifier in 1957, the founder and CEO of Peavey Electronics Corporation has established a legacy of innovations, including more than 180 patents, that have helped shape the way we hear and play music.
Throughout her life, Peavey Electronics President Mary Peavey has donated her time and talents to furthering arts and education. She served as an arts advocate for the National Arts Council, and partnered with the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., to bring arts and music to Meridian and Lauderdale County schools. She played a key role in producing the “Mississippi GRAMMY Legacy Celebration,” one of the entertainment industry’s most talked-about shows throughout its five-year run. She also served the arts in Mississippi through her work as a member of the Mississippi Arts Commission’s Board of Commissioners.
Mary Peavey commented that Mississippi is famed worldwide for its artists, writers, poets, and musicians. “The arts are becoming more of a focus, but they have always been strong and enduring in our Mississippi culture,” she said.