I have had the good fortune of working alongside some of the greatest musicians of our time including the Rolling Stones, David Bowie and the Carpenters. While music has allowed me to travel the world, my roots are firmly planted in Texas.
Born and raised in San Antonio, I became involved in the arts at a very young age, thanks to my Grandmother, Edna Powell. She was a piano teacher and a force to be reckoned with in the San Antonio music scene. She had me performing on stage before I can even remember. In fact, my first professional job in music was around six years old where she had me audition (not voluntarily) for the touring opera “Turandot” where I sang the children’s part while they were performing at the Municipal Auditorium. I then started playing the trumpet in the fifth grade and became good enough to make the Texas All State Band both times I auditioned my junior and senior year in high school. After high school, having been recruited by Irving Driebrodt to play lead trumpet with the SMU Mustang Band, I spent six years with them as a featured soloist while earning a Masters Degree in Business.
While at SMU, I also played and sang with a band called the “Soul Society”. We were booked a lot and were the house band at Soul City, a prominent club in the Dallas scene back then. My involvement with that band resulted in my playing in backup bands with Stevie Wonder, Gladys Knight, Little Richard, Dobbie Grey and many others. My relationship with the band would launch a crazy 40 plus year career in the entertainment business and a recording contract with Capitol Records as a vocalist in the band Thunder. The musicians that played on those recordings, to name a few included, Whitey Thomas, Phil Kelly, David Hungate, John Nitzinger, Dean Parks, Paul Leim, Buggs Henderson, Dave Zoller, Larry White, Mike Rabon, etc. During the time I was recording for Capitol, I joined with two of my former Soul Society bandmates Jack Calmes and Rusty Brutsche in a company called Showco, a company that would define the next stage of my career and the careers of many in the entertainment industry.
Showco would impact almost everything in live entertainment production. I could write a book about just those days, from our groundbreaking sound systems and staging, to our involvement with the Stones, Zeppelin, my touring with Bloodrock, Grand Funk Railroad, and Freddie King. It was an impactful number of years. I left there in 1974 to move to Los Angeles where I became, the Tour Manager for the Carpenters (thanks to Karen), which lasted until 1981 (material for another book).
I then returned to Dallas and rejoined Showco and its sister company Vari-Lite, a company that would revolutionize entertainment lighting forever (material for yet another book). During those years I did many things with the organization including multi-year tours with David Bowie and the Rolling Stones where we were the General Contractor and I was the Production Accountant. I also in my spare time became involved with the Richardson Community band and the Vocal Majority for about seven years, give or take.
In 1989 Vari-Lite moved me to Los Angeles where I would spend the next 25 years. I gave up playing trumpet during those years because of my intense workload and travel schedule. In 1998 after having been Executive Vice President of International Operations for quite a few years and helping take Vari-Lite public on the NASDAQ Exchange, I left the company and rejoined Richard Carpenter as his Personal Manager until around 2006. After that, I decided to pursue a lifelong passion, Photography. I ended up photographing celebrities, fashion, and commercial jobs until I decided to retire-ish and move back to Texas in 2014.
Almost immediately upon my arriving back in Dallas, my SMU bandmates started calling for me to start playing trumpet again. So I dusted off the cobwebs from my instrument and begin the difficult task of learning to play again. Thanks to the Mustang Band, the Richardson Community Band, Upswing, Kings of Swing, and others, that task became a pleasure. Thank you for that! Playing again has also renewed my interest in recording and has resulted in a number of new releases, the latest of which can be heard on this website.
Below I have included some things that happened along this fun journey we call life.
National Association of Recording Arts and Sciences
Professional Photographers of America
American Society of Photographers
1962 Texas All State Band Record - Trumpet
1963 Texas All State Band Record - Cornet
1965 Mustang Jazz - SMU - Lead Trumpet
1967 Mustang Jazz - SMU - Lead Trumpet
1967 Soul Society "Knock On Wood" - Showco Records - Lead Trumpet
1967 Soul Society "I've Been Dream'in" - Showco Records - Piccolo Trumpet, Lead Trumpet, Background Vocals
1972 Thunder - Capitol Records - Lead Vocals all tracks
1973 Thunder - Capitol Records - Lead Vocals all tracks
1976 Nitzinger “Live Better Electrically” – 20th Century – Background vocals
1981 Woody James L.A. Si Si - LACC Recording - Trumpet, Flugelhorn
1985 Vocal Majiorty "White Christmas" - VM Productions - Vocalist in the Chorus
1990 Vocal Majority "I'll Be Seeing You" - VM Productions - Vocalist in the Chorus
1990 Mormon Tabernacle Choir & The Vocal Majority "Voices In Harmony" -Sony Classical - Vocalist
2014 David Alley “Gulf of Mexico” – iTunes Release – Lead Vocals
2017 Summer Rose “America My Home” for the play “Independence” – Producer
2018 David Alley and the “Brass Tacks” – Flugelhorn and Vocals, Producer
2018 David Alley “Christmas Lullaby” - Vocals and Flugelhorn
2019 David Alley “Panhandle Mary Jane” – Vocals
2020 David Alley “One Foot In History” – Vocals and Flugelhorn
2020 David Alley “Gulf of Mexico” - Vocals
2020 David Alley “Coronavirus Blues” – Vocals
2021 David Alley “Tears Are Going Out of Style” - Vocals
Showco, Inc. – Vice President
Vari-Lite, Inc. – Executive Vice Pres. International Operations
Carpenters – Tour Manager
Freddie King – Tour Manager
Bloodrock – Tour Manager
Rolling Stones – General Contractor, Production Accountant, “Tattoo You” 1982 World Tour
David Bowie – General Contractor, Production Accountant, “Serious Moonlight” 1983 World Tour
David Bowie – General Contractor, Production Accountant, “Glass Spider” 1987 World Tour
Alley Management, Inc.
Richard Carpenter – Personal Manager
Tierney Sutton – Personal Manager
David Alley Photography, CPP, Master of Photography
David Alley Productions – Music Production
1959-1963 Various Performance Medals Texas State Competitions - Trumpet
1962 Texas All State Band – Trumpet
1963 Texas All State Band – Cornet
1985 Gold Medal – SPEBSQSA International Competition – Vocal Majority Chorus
1988 Gold Medal – SPEBSQSA International Competition – Vocal Majority Chorus
1991 Certificate “Outstanding Contribution” 43rd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards
1990-1991 Certificate “Outstanding Engineering Development” Primetime Emmy Awards
1994 Certificate “Outstanding Engineering Development” Primetime Emmy Awards
2017 Bronze Medal – Professional Photographers of America “International Print Competition”
2018 Bronze Medal – Professional Photographers of America “International Print Competition”
2019 Bronze Medal – Professional Photographers of America “International Print Competition”
2020 Bronze Medal – Professional Photographers of America “International Print Competition”
2020 Master of Photography – Professional Photographers of America