Phil Perry (born January 12, 1952, Springfield, Illinois, United States) is an American R&B singer, songwriter, musician and a former member of the soul group "The Montclairs" from 1971 to 1975.
In 1972, The Montclairs recorded under the Paula label with minor soul ballads that included "Dreaming's Out Of Season", "Prelude to a Heartbreak", and "Begging's Hard To Do". The Montclairs left Paula Records and disbanded in 1975. Perry later moved to California with former Montclair, Kevin Sanlin, and teamed up as a duo, that had a short stay with two albums, at Capitol in the early 1980s (produced by Chuck Jackson and Dr. Cecil Hale). One song 'Just to Make You Happy' had a respectable level of success in radio.
In 1985 he married singer Lillian "Tang" Tynes, and began a marriage partnership that has lasted ever since. As vocalists, the Perrys are featured singing background for numerous projects and TV/Radio jingles, as well as in a duet titled 'Do Not Disturb' on the One Heart One Love album, released in 1998. 'Lill' Perry is also featured on the background vocals of Perry's first five solo albums. The nearly 25 year marriage has produced four children, Joseph, Paloma, Philip II, and Jacob. In the 1990s, he had his biggest success with the number-one R&B hit "Call Me" (previously recorded and written by Aretha Franklin), a remake of the 1970 hit, as well as the top forty R&B singles "Amazing Love" and "Forever" (written by Brenda Russell) all from the hit album, Perry's first solo release The Heart of the Man (1991), even though he has released many albums since his breakthrough in 1991. Phil Perry is also featured on many GRP Records projects, with guitarist Lee Ritenour in particular.
He is a featured vocalist on recordings by Michel Colombier, Don Grusin, Dave Grusin, Freddie Hubbard, George Duke, Najee, Bill Withers, Barbra Streisand, June Pointer, Johnny Mathis, The Benoit-Freeman Project (David Benoit & Russ Freeman), Sergio Mendes, Bobby Womack, Chaka Khan, Fourplay, George Benson, and Will Downing, to name a few. Solo hits also include "Love Don't Love Nobody" and "One Heart, One Love". He is also featured on the Bebe's Kids soundtrack singing a track with the late Renee Diggs. Other film song credits include 'Roots", "Pretty in Pink", "Short Circuit", "Mr. Wonderful", "Nice Girls Don't Explode", Riding Bean, "Captain Ron" and a cameo appearance in the 2009 release of the Harrison Ford film "CROSSING OVER".
On September 11, 2001, Perry was scheduled to perform at the World Trade Center, for the lunch hour jazz concerts between 11 am and 1 pm. His 5th solo album Magic was released that day, as well. As fate would have it, Perry was spared the devastation of the terrorist attacks on the two towers. However, for the next few years, he sunk into an artistic depression, and did not record again until invited by longtime friend, Don Grusin, whom he joined in September 2003 for a collaborative venture titled "The Hang". This CD/DVD project was nominated for a Grammy, and included Dave Grusin, Harvey Mason, Patti Austin, Natali Renee, Abraham Laboriel, Alex Acuna, Ernie Watts, Lee Ritenour, and others.
In 2006, former co-producer of the Magic album, Chris 'Big Dog' Davis, urged Perry to record a collection of R&B hits, titled Classic Love Songs as an independent one-off project for Shanachie Records. Since that time, Perry has recorded four projects for Shanachie with 'The Big Dog', including the recent duo project with the great Melba Moore. In 2007 he toured the country with saxophonist Dave Koz. That same year he released his acclaimed album "Mighty Love," for which he was voted the 2007 Male Vocalist of the Year, in the SoulTracks Readers' Choice Awards. In 2008, Perry recorded a duo album with Tony Award winning vocalist, Melba Moore, titled "The Gift of Love". The album was voted Duo Album of the Year award in the SoulTracks Readers Choice Awards.
After returning from South Africa Perry became ill during a performance with Pieces of a Dream, in October 2009 at Southern Connecticut State University. False rumors began to circulate that he had died. While there is no definitive medical reason for the collapse, Perry was treated at a local New Haven hospital, and released with the strong recommendation that he take some time off and rest. His fan base nearly doubled after the incident. In 2010, "Ready For Love' was released by Shanachie. Inspired to write, after his health warning, this excellent album featured more Phil Perry originals than in any of his earlier releases, which pleased Perry, the songwriter, immensely.
March 2013 heralded the release of "Say Yes", the 10th solo album, and the 5th on Shanachie. The album charted in the Top Ten on Billboard and A.C. Smooth Jazz charts, as well as receiving Smooth Jazz TOP VOCAL credits. Two years after its release, Say Yes continued its steady climb to become one of Billboard's 2014 top smooth jazz singles, featuring Perry in a classic duet cover of Where Is the Love? with Chanté Moore.
The newest release from Perry on the Shanachie label - "A Better Man" - was #1 on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz chart the first week. The album is being described as possibly Phil Perry's greatest creative endeavor, and in defiance of recent health issues, 'The Maestro' features flawless vocal performances of original and classic RnB compositions which continue to place the Legendary singer/songwriter, in a class all his own.
Perry composed, wrote and performed several songs for the Japanese anime OVA Riding Bean with friend and co-writer, David "Creatchy" Garfield. Perry, Kevin Sanlin, James Ingram, and Howard Hewett are singing the background vocals on the Carl Carlton hit, "She's a Bad Mama Jama". Perry makes a cameo appearance in the 2009 film Crossing Over.
In 1992, Phil traveled to Japan to perform in the Earth Voice Concert with Lee Ritenour, Lisa Fischer, Brenda Russell, James Ingram, Michael McDonald. etc. Phil sang background vocals on songs the artist perform.
“The Heart of the Man” (1991)
“Pure Pleasure” (1994)
“One Heart One Love” (1998)
“My Book of Love” (2000)
“Classic Love Songs”(2006)
“A Mighty Love” (2007)
“Ready for Love” (2008)
“The Gift of Love” (2009) with Melba Moore
“Say Yes” (2013)
"A Better Man" (2015)
Sources: Last.fm, Wikipedia
Phil Perry in the news
|Songs by Phil Perry|