Max Leake began his musical training at age six. By the time he was 15, he was working with local Pittsburgh bands and backing up national acts in local supper clubs. At the age of 18, Max was traveling around the country with acts such as the Ink Spots and the Marcels.
Max spent time playing in show-bands in the Catskill Mountains of New York backing up variety acts, comedians and singers. He also cruised around the Western hemisphere as house pianist in the showbands on many different Princess Cruise ships.
In 1985 he released his self-produced album Buns in the Sun on Visionary Records, a record label started by Max and Mike Hurzon (owner of the Tracking Station, an independent record promotion company). The album drew widespread airplay nationally and was reviewed favorably by many newspapers and trade publications.