by Rachel Williams and Alexandra Taylor
Bowdon, Georgia, native Michael Huey has come a long way from his beginnings as a business and management student at the University of West Georgia. Michael, who studied business administration and management at UWG, is now a musician, producer and arranger of music records, world tours, film and television soundtracks. He is also the founder and owner of HueyTunes, a successful music production, publishing and licensing company located in North Hollywood, California.
Michael developed a passion for music early in life, playing the drums and trumpet as a hobby during his youth. However, his hobby quickly turned into a successful career playing on 28 Gold/Platinum Top 10 albums and singles in rock, pop, R&B and country songs. He has worked with many Hall of Fame artists, including Joe Walsh of the Eagles, Lindsey Buckingham of Fleetwood Mac and Chris Hillman and Gene Clark of The Byrds.
Michael’s career took off after Johnny Bee, a well-known booking agent in Atlanta, noticed Michael had remarkable talent after watching him perform with one of his music groups, 8-Up With Soul. Johnny suggested that Michael audition to be a drummer for Tommy Roe, who at the time was a popular pop artist who had the #1 hit song in the nation named “Dizzy.” Due to his growing success, Michael decided to take a break from UWG to pursue his music career. In 1969, he accompanied Tommy Roe on his “Dizzy” tour as lead drummer.
Michael went on to play drums for The Swingin’ Medallions and later for The Classics IV. Michael began playing as a session player while working with The Classics IV, where he would play for multiple bands during live performances or recording sessions. He played sessions for The Winstons, an Atlanta Grammy-winning R&B/pop group in 1970 and then went on to work with Allen Toussaint, a Hall of Fame and Grammy Award-winning producer, arranger and songwriter.
Michael was also the staff drummer for The Lowery Group, where he played many sessions and recordings for Clarence Carter, Johnny Nash, Atlanta Tams, Joe South, Mylon LeFevre, Billy Joe Royal, Ray Whitley and Sam Moore. After moving to Los Angeles in 1976, he continued playing on sessions and world tours for The Osmonds, Walter Egan, Etta James, Juice Newton, Taco, Blue Steel, Michael Martin Murphy, Albert Collins, JoAnn Mackell and Rob Grill of Grassroots.
Not only has Michael played the drums for well-known bands, but he has also been featured on several major movie soundtracks, including Back To The Future, Deuce Bigalow, Boogie Nights, Sgt. Bilko and Overnight Delivery.
Michael finally retired from touring and session playing in 1992. Since then, he has graduated from UCLA’s School of Law and shifted his focus to music production, publishing and licensing. Although his focus has now shifted to HueyTunes, Michael’s musical talents are still an important part of his identity.