He is a keyboardist, composer and actor born in Detroit, Michigan, who earned his Bachelors degree in piano performance at Juilliard School in the latter end of the 1960s.
He branched out into playing many genres of music and often played the synthesiser instead of the piano and at the beginning of the 1970s he joined up with the band Stories which was based in New York. He stayed with them until they disbanded in 1973 but during that time he recorded three albums and saw success when they achieved several hit singles including the No. 1 “Brother Louie”.
He ventured out into performing with orchestras on Broadway and in 1975 he attained the position of Music Director for Boccaccio. Two years later he took the plunge and appeared as Norman in I Love My Wife which saw him winning the Drama Desk Award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical. A year later, in 1978, he joined the production of Working as a pianist and the Assistant Conductor.
He settled in San Marino, California, during the 1990s and concentrated on performing the music for TV and film, gaining an Emmy Award for his composition.
Throughout his career he also worked as a much sought after studio musician for artists and groups that include the Ashford & Simpson, Average White Band, Michael Brecker, Roy Buchanan, Felix Cavaliere, Jackie DeShannon, Aretha Franklin, Steve Gadd, Nikki Giovanni, Richard Harris, Cissy Houston, Chaka Khan, Gershon Kingsley. Ralph MacDonald, Herbie Mann, Maureen McGovern, Bette Midler, Mandy Patinkin, Peter Paul & Mary and Sylvia Syms.
He has also appeared in and/or worked on 1977’s Pumping Iron, 1996’s A Family Thing and Marvin’s Room, 2004’s Kinsey and a 2001 episode of Sex and the City.
The albums he appeared on are numerous and include The George Benson Collection by George Benson, Judith by Judy Collins, Wind Beneath My Wings by James Galway, One and Only by Gladys Knight & The Pips, Rhythms of the World by Van McCoy, The Motown Solo Albums by David Ruffin, Boys in the Trees by Carly Simon, Second Childhood by Phoebe Snow, Ringo the 4thby Ringo Starr, Schroeder’s Greatest Hits from Peanuts and the soundtracks of The Alamo, Fame and The Manchurian Candidate.
He has performed on stage with Jane Olivor and has moved to Mexico to teach music and the Ishayah doctrine. In 2009 he and his wife became certified teaching monks of Ascension of the Bright Path Ishayas. He continues to compose for ensembles and his solo performances.
Van McCoy recordings
The Shuffle (Van McCoy)
That’s the Joint (Van McCoy)
Here he is performing “Don’t Let Me Down” with Doug Robinson at a benefit concert in Mexico…..