Charley Drayton


Charley Drayton

Born in a musical family and raised in Brooklyn, NY, music was and still is Charley Drayton’s first language. His grandfather Charlie played upright bass {Louis Jordan, Ben Webster, Billie Holiday, Lena Horn}; and his father Bernard began his musical career as a recording engineer and is now a jingle and record producer. From age three, Charley began to spend much of his time attending recording sessions and live performances. At times, even home felt like a nightclub, as new music would find its way into their home daily.

Through his training of the sites and sounds of the New York City music scene, Charley began to take piano lessons at the Yamaha piano school in Brooklyn.

One of his first musical dreams was to join a band. In the process of his search, by 1980 he began his professional recording career with master musician Bernard Wright. The door was then wide open. Through the years, he has shared musical settings with Chaka Khan, Herbie Hancock, Taj Mahal, Mac {Dr.John} Rebenak, B52s, Divinyls, Ivan Neville, Late Night with David Letterman, Doyle Bramhall Jr., The Brecker Bros., Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash, Keith Richards & the Xpensive Winos, Mariah Carey, Michelle Branch, and, most recently, the Cleveland Browns home games with GE Smith.

It would be difficult not to mention some of the bass work he has done over the years, too, with such artist as Seal, Iggy Pop, Neil Young, Courtney Love, Janet Jackson, The Cult, Robben Ford, and Barbara Lynne just to name a few!

Charley has been a Yamaha drum artist since 1979. The kit he often caresses is a custom-made Stage Custom or Recording Custom drum set. In the past few years, Charley has also grabbed hold of the BEX-4 and the BEX-BS Billy Sheehan signature model bass guitar.

Charley has been heard in many different musical circles over two decades. His energy and love for music continue to reach new plateaus. And, yes, he's still in search of the band of his dreams!