Calvin Lampley was born March 4, 1924 in Dunn, North Carolina. He received his Artist Diploma in piano from Juilliard School Of Music in 1949, and made his Carnegie Hall debut in 1953.
Initially hired as a tape/music editor at Columbia’s Masterworks label, he is recruited by star producer George Avakian to become his assistant. As a A&R and in-house producer for Columbia, Warner Bros., RCA/Victor, and Prestige, he has worked with some of the most reputed artists in the classical, popular and jazz fields: Leonard Bernstein, Miles Davis, Louis Armstrong, Dave Brubeck, Erroll Garner, Victor Borge, Arthur Godfrey, Mahalia Jackson, Liberace, Johnny Mathis, Duke Ellington, Nina Simone, Judy Garland, Art Blakey, Horace Silver, Gil Evans, Pat Martino, Sonny Stitt, Frank Foster, Johnny Hammond Smith and countless others. He produced Richard Groove Holmes' rendition of Misty which was Prestige's Records biggest single in its history, reaching number #44 on the Billboard charts in 1966.
While receiving his Master of Music in Composition from the Peabody Conservatory of Music, Lampley became the director of the institution’s first jazz ensemble, and by the same token, its first full-time African-American faculty member.
A professor emeritus from Morgan State University, where he taught piano and composition for nearly two decades, he is widely known in the Baltimore area for his long tenure as a classical music critic on Maryland Public Television’s show “The Critics Place,” and as host of WCBM-AM’s “Peabody Presents.”