Harvey Scales is an American R&B singer, songwriter, and producer. Scales has been active in the music industry since the 1960s, and has composed songs for groups with a long standing history in the industry as well such as The Dells, The Dramatics, and The O’Jays. Once called Milwaukee’s “Godfather of Soul” by a local reporter, Scales credits James Brown and the sound of “funk” for influencing his music career.
Scales received national recognition for co-writing Billboard Hot 100 chart-topping single for Johnnie Taylor titled, “Disco Lady“. “Disco Lady” was the very first platinum single in the history of the Recording Industry Association of America, selling over two million copies. It was certified platinum on April 22, 1976. Scales is the first African American song writer to receive this status. Scales also co-wrote the song “I Can Do Bad All by Myself”—recorded by Jesse James—with Johnny Mills, also of Milwaukee. He has written most of the songs on his albums—from the 1978 release of Confidential Affairs to the 1997 Somebody Else’s Somebody.
Harvey was well known in his home town of Milwaukee, Wisconsin before his big break as a national songwriter. Known as “Twistin’ Harvey” in the early 1960s by local fans, Scales, an Arkansas native, grew up in Milwaukee and attended Roosevelt Middle and North Division High School. Together he and his long time friend, Al Vance (1943–2003), formed the group, Harvey Scales and the Seven Sounds.
His son, Harvey Jr., better known as “Scalez” (formerly “JR Da Supastar”), is a rapper based in Milwaukee. Harvey’s godson, Robert Buchanan, Jr. is a music producer and singer, better known as “Kristopher Lloyd”. Robert, who is based out of Atlanta will have future collaborations with Harvey Scales on upcoming projects.