*Tomorrow (02-14-17) is Valentine’s Day, so what better way to celebrate love than to indulge in a love song from Las Vegas-based entertainer J.R. Perry III.
This multi-talented TV host and radio personality, and singer and songwriter, shares his deep, soothing signature voice and his life story. One to appreciate and cherish love and relationships, Perry found it befitting to create his beloved anthem, “Valentine Lover.”
“I’m a romantic man. My dad was born on Valentine’s Day. I was sitting in my studio, and I wanted to pay homage to Valentine’s Day and that is how “Valentine Lover” came about,” says Perry. Originally released in 1989, Perry says his Valentine song blew up in Europe and is still going strong. “It did miraculously in Europe,” says Perry. He will re-release the song later this year for purchase in the United States.
From his Valentine anthem, to his black history tributes “Mr. Mandela” and “Civil Rights,” Perry wants the world to celebrate his music.
“My whole thing is creating synergy. I’m a prolific writer. My music is my base. It’s my foundation,” says Perry.
His upbeat song, “Mr. Mandela” is a tribute to the late Nelson Mandela and was created before Mandela was released from prison on February 11, 1990. Mandela, leader of the movement to end South African apartheid had spent 27 years in prison, and Perry wanted to do his part. Years later, he would go on to create another song. His “Civil Rights” song came about in 2007 and since then he has been adamant about spreading his message. Perry goes on to discuss how none of today’s artists are addressing this issue.
“Our Civil rights are like our driver’s license; they expire. Reagan signed it and it expired when baby Bush came in office. In 2007, our civil rights were gone. This inspired me to write this song. I stay up on politics, legislation and civil rights. That’s why I was inspired to write this song. I was like – we don’t have any civil rights and they are taking us back to slavery,” says Perry.
Perry adds, “We got to think more strategically, instead of emotionally. We don’t even have rights. This song was just as powerful as the Mandela song. Fighting apartheid in the 1990s and in 2007, our civil rights were taken from us. The rights we really have are independence rights. Technically, on paper we were still slaves.” Perry took the Mandela song even further and started designing clothes with Mandela on them and he had them sold on the home shopping network, QVC. His Mandela song was included in the purchase. “We worked a deal for it to be on there for a week and it did well for the short time it was on. It was right around the time, Mandela was getting out of prison. We were under a non-profit and we were raising money for Mandela. I designed T-shirts, jeans, velour sweat suits and baseball caps and I said we should do a Mandela song,” he proudly says.
In addition to his roles as TV Host and radio personality, music executive, voiceover coach, designer, humanitarian and Sickle Cell Anemia Advocate, the multi-tasker became a single father and took pride in raising his son, who suffered with Sickle Cell Anemia. He would go on to raise money for the disease. Over the years, the Detroit native’s perseverance and multiple roles, would lead him to work with the crème de la crème of the entertainment industry. He grew up living and loving the entertainment industry, and Perry has spent his entire life involved with the music industry.
An hour or so into the telephone interview, Perry switches lanes and he reminisces about his life story, Smokey Robinson serving as Vice President of Motown and Berry Gordy’s role as President. Perry goes on to chat about the Jacksons, Stevie Wonder, and life working with Robinson. According to Perry, he lived with Robinson and his family and had access to anyone in the industry.
“Smokey is like my uncle. When I was 15-years-old, I lived in a mansion with him. I not only worked with him, I knew the family business. I pretty much lived there. I left home at fifteen and received all my training and development under Smokey Robinson’s family, so that made it easy for me to step into the entertainment business,” says Perry. “I was the protege of Smokey Robinson’s nephew’s group, “Keith & Darrell”; I used to be taking notes. I was consistent and persistent.”
“I got some juicy stuff to tell people and a lot of people are 10 to 15 years my elder. I was in woodshed, working on my instruments, harmonies, contracts, A&R, and publicity. That was the best free college I could ever go to. I was humble,” he explains. Currently, Perry is busy working on his book titled, “I Was a Fly on the Wall at Motown.” He’s not sure when he will release it but says it will be a good read.
His acclaimed TV show, The J.R. Perry Show, has been around since 1983 and his guest list reads like “Who’s Who in Entertainment”, both in front and behind the scenes. His info-tainment guest show list includes entertainment executives, politicians, corporate America CEOs, Public Service execs, Record labels, and on and on. From Dick Griffey, President of Solar Record and one of the most promising black music executives in the country (with groups as Shalamar, Klymaxx, Whispers, Lakeside, Midnight Star), to the President of Comic Relief, to B Angie B, MC Hammer, the Commodores, Marla Gibbs, Rolls Royce, The Mary Jane Girls, and the Foot Hill Police Department (after the beating of Rodney King). Perry reminisces about his days working with George Johnson of the Brother Johnsons, the Temptations, and Maurice White of Earth, Wind & Fire, renowned guitarist Phil Upchurch, and Wild, Wild Watson, and James Jamison, bass player for all the groups of Motown.
“I asked the tough questions. I help rejuvenate and reunite the community after the Rodney King beating. My show was rare, raw and exclusives. I did interviews that matter with CEOs, civil leaders, and philanthropists. I spent my 20s, 30s and 40s doing the J.R. Perry Show and I would tackle the tough questions,” says Perry.
Perry also had a hot radio show, J.R. Perry Love Drops on KLAZ in Las Vegas. Celebrity guest included Arnold Schwarzenegger and the former President Bill Clinton.
“It was a big AM station and you would have thought it was a FM station. I turned the AM station into a FM station at 8 pm every Friday night. People already knew about the J.R. Perry TV show. I’ve been consistent and persistent. That’s who I am,” says Perry. He didn’t stop there. He also had a show, J.R. Perry’s Farm Fresh Foods, during drive time on 88.1 Fm, one of Las Vegas’ top black radio stations. “I had celebrities come on and discuss their healthy eating habits and then I would play their music,” he says.
“I would interview the renowned musicians that played with everybody in the world. I wanted to talk to people who put you on. I use to break videos. They weren’t playing black videos on MTV. I grew up in the industry. I always had this voice and television was natural to me. I interviewed the behind the scene people who made it happen,” says Perry.
“I’m an investigative journalist. I’m a messenger. I give you a message on TV, on radio and books. I give you a message on entertainment exclusives, raw and rare interviews,” Perry says. I paid homage to the A-list artists. I wanted to talk to the people behind the scene. I interviewed the late Booker Bradshaw, who did the voiceovers for the long running “Showtime At the Apollo” series and I interviewed the CEO/Host of RadioScope and founder/publisher of EURweb, Lee Bailey.
Currently a booking agent, Perry is filming for his new show, “J.R. Perry Show – No Place Like Home.”
“I’m retuning back to where I began. I’ll be filming out of a mansion as opposed to on sets this time,” says Perry.
EURweb associate journalist Angela P. Moore is based in the Atlanta area. A passionate writer-and-photographer-at-heart, she freelances for local and national magazines. She pens articles on celebrity profiles, art, music, business, travel, entertainment, health, self-help, and consumer-related issues. She is also the founder and owner of APM Public Relations. In the realization of her life-long passion for writing, Angela will release her debut book Summer 2017. She can be reached via [email protected].