Jimmy Maelen was a percussionist in the 1960s-1980s, who worked with many artists including Roxy Music, Bryan Ferry, Peter Gabriel, James Taylor, Dire Straits, Barry Manilow, Alice Cooper, Kiss, Madonna, Bryan Adams, Michael Jackson, Mick Jagger, David Bowie and John Lennon. He also played on hit records by Bob James, Duran Duran, Carly Simon, Barbra Streisand, Yoko Ono, Meatloaf, Alice Cooper, BJ Thomas, and many others. For most of the late 70's into the 80's he was one of the "first call" percussion players in New York City. During the golden years of the disco era he was especially successful, working with the remix team of Michael Barbiero and John Luongo and overdubbing on extended dance versions of disco classics such as, Gonzales' "I Haven't Stopped Dancin' Yet", The Jacksons' "Blame It On The Boogie" and "Shake Your Body Down (To The Ground)", Dan Hartman's "Vertigo/Relight My Fire", Jackie Moore's "This Time, This Time Baby" and many more. He can be heard playing 7 tracks of percussion on Barry Manilow's classic hit Copacabana. His working relationship with Barbiero and Luongo led to a solo album for Epic/Columbia in 1980, produced by the trio and entitled Beats Workin'.
Maelen's first album with Roxy Music was the critically acclaimed Avalon. He also played on the Dire Straits Brothers in Arm album, and appeared with both Roxy Music and Dire Straits at Live Aid in London. He also toured with Peter Gabriel on his first solo tour in 1977. Jimmy Maelen worked as a studio musician on Alphaville's 1986 album, Afternoons in Utopia.
At the time of his death he was producing his first rock band Cherri Red, along with Gary Chester at the Edison Recording Studio in New York City. Subsequently, one of the songs "Be With You Tonight" which was written by John Bussi, was used in the film See You In The Morning directed by Alan J. Pakula.
Jimmy Maelen died in 1988 from leukemia.