Peggie Perkins: Singer and Entertainer
Peggie Perkins: Thank you for inviting me to do the interview Jessica!
Jessica Gilbert: I know that your inspiration to sing started from a very early age you were even singing before talking! Clearly, performing was your destiny!! Who were some artists you admired and enjoyed singing along to as a child?
Peggie Perkins: Many of my first songs as a child were songs like a “Bicycle Built For Two” and songs that most kids sang – She’ll be coming round the mountain when she comes…I always loved patriotic songs, like “Your a grand old flag” as well! I loved singing along with Judy Garland, The Beatles, Etta James and Karen Carpenter and Crosby, Stills and Nash to name just a few! Times were so much simpler then – no computers, cell phones, DVR, or DVD’s. A completely different way of growing up!
Jessica Gilbert: Can you recall the first song you belted out?
Peggie Perkins: Not one in particular. My folks listened to swing, like Benny Goodman and also listened to standards and to Herb Alpert and The Tijuana Brass.
Jessica Gilbert: What was the first play you performed in? And what was one of the most memorable roles you’ve played in a production?
Peggie Perkins: Dark of the Moon! I was in several plays but not in a lead role; I was a tenor back in my choir days when all the boys voices were changing so I never got a lead part in the musicals!!
Jessica Gilbert: You’ve performed in various bands such as “The Prisoners,” “The L.A. Clique” and “TKO” as lead singer. Then in April 1983 you joined “The Fabulous Chevelles/All Night Express” band, which you still perform with for various events and gigs today. Tell us a little more about the bands you were a part of in the past and the one you’re still involved with today.
Peggie Perkins: I was in many choirs in my school years. I graduated high school, then went to two years at the Local Junior College for Art. Then my sister tried out for a band and said I should go try out, so I did…I had sang on a few stages with local bands and with my sister and her guitar, but was with the band “The Prisoners” after winning the job after thirty singers auditioned! So much fun, and we played the nightclub scene in Los Angeles and Orange County area.
Then I auditioned for a three-girl front act to perform in Las Vegas with a Neil Diamond impersonator at The Hilton and Flamingo Hilton – us gals and four guys were in the band “L.A. Clique,” and we were the back-up singers for the show plus opened and closed the shows! Our band “TKO” came out of that…The four guys and I decided to try originals, and also write and perform cover tunes and originals on the road! We performed through The Pacific Northwest and Canada! Heavy stuff and melodic stuff like: the band Journey, Ronnie James Dio, Black Sabbath, Def Leppard, etc. We played at many hotel chains, as well as rock clubs and other venues! I have also been to almost every Denny’s after hours for breakfast! LOL Not much Money in it! Paid for our own travel and rooms, and ate at the happy hour bar spread of chicken wings mini taco’s, carrots and celery! I sure stayed thin rockin and rollin. All of us on the road in a van with our equipment behind us in a trailer! Drive from Idaho to Montana, set up lights sound etc, Shower put on our costumes and hit the stage, then break it all down and travel on. Some one nighter gigs and some week long gigs – different states and towns, new faces and friends to make!
As for my years with the fabulous “Chevelles /All Night Express Band”…I have been with them since 1983. We played locally here in So Cal, and did Las Vegas and hot August nights in Reno Tahoe area for years. The fab Chevelles played fifties & sixties music with myself and three male vocalists. All Night Express – same people, just top forty – many years of great times, six nights a week gigs and three and four part harmony, a real favorite of mind…We still.perform together today!
In 2005 and 2007 I performed a show at The Salt Lake City International Jazz Festival as well.
Peggie Perkins: First time I ever sang “At Last” was at a girlfriend’s wedding, learned it the night before and sang it! I had always been a bit afraid of it because it was so identified with Etta… But I always loved it!
I had auditioned for a spot in a year long talent contest on a local radio station where each week they played a song from three different singers, and at the end of each week there would be one winner. Then at the end of the month we competed against eachother and I was the winner of the Month of December with The Venue Being The Malibu Inn, Malibu, California. Later that year they had a huge contest/concert where each month’s winner entertained and sang a song for the Audience and some illustrious Judges! I even had the honor of having Bill Miller Pianist for Frank Sinatra playing for me! It was my wedding anniversary, July 29th and there I was with all my friends, family and lots of people I did not know as we all anxiously awaited our turn. I was last to perform and sang “At Last.” After the judges came back I was announced The Winner! The prize was a CD recorded with a top producer and recorded in LA or Nashville. Needless to say, the prize of the CD never happened, so off I went to make it on my own. With many talented friends along the process and thirty years of live performance and singing on other albums it was At Last my turn to record mine!
Jessica Gilbert: What can fans expect from a live show?
Peggie Perkins: Well, I love to sing but even more I like to entertain. I want everyone to have the time of their life! I try and have everyone sing along and Dance at some shows, and others are concerts with a very quiet and listening crowd!
Jessica Gilbert: How do you prepare for one and is there something special that you do prior to each show?
Peggie Perkins: I am so comfortable on stage. I just make sure I have enough sleep, rest on my voice and body, and get up there and go for it! Nothing special really, I just always look forward to telling a story with a song, making people smile and help them to have a great time!
Jessica Gilbert: You have performed across the U.S.A., Canada and overseas. Can you share a couple of your most memorable show experiences with us?
Peggie Perkins: Japan was an amazing Journey! I had never been out of the US and I was so excited and the audiences in Japan did not disappoint. We did a different venue most every night in a different city, some times three nights at most per city! Rode the bullet train – super fun! I was able to sight see by day and perform in the evenings with a wonderful band and dance troup! An all-around, once in a lifetime experience!
Jessica Gilbert: If you had the power to do something in the world today, what would it be and why?
Peggie Perkins: Tough question as there are so many things I would like to have the power to do, Stop hunger, disease, poverty…I do my part by performing for charitable organizations and for The American Cancer Society, The Veterans and also folks whom are in hospitals – we bring the show to them! Also for the Mission in Downtown Los Angeles at the holidays! One of my biggest pet peeves is Litter! Oh you did not ask what my pet peeves were…Well, there it is my biggest pet peeve.
Jessica Gilbert: What is one of your favorite quotes (or lines) that inspires you?
Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.
Life is beauty, admire it.
Life is bliss, taste it.
Life is a dream, realize it.
Life is a challenge, meet it.
Life is a duty, complete it.
Life is a game, play it.
Life is a promise, fulfill it.
Life is sorrow, overcome it.
Life is a song, sing it.
Life is a struggle, accept it.
Life is a tragedy, confront it.
Life is an adventure, dare it.
Life is luck, make it.
Life is too precious, do not destroy it.
Life is life, fight for it.
Also The quote – “The Best Way Out is Through” ~Robert Frost
Peggie Perkins: I really want to thank you, and all my friends and fans for listening and supporting me all these years at my live shows and with purchasing my recorded music. I also want to thank all the dj’s for their support in playing my CD too. You can purchase my music on Itunes, also buy my CD at CD Baby, plus order an autographed copy at my website www.peggieperkins.com, or at a performance of mine! I am hoping to start recording my next CD in the coming months and I shall keep everyone posted! Facebook has been a great way for me to keep up with friends and fans…Friend me there!
Jessica Gilbert: Thanks again for doing an interview for TSM and wish you the best of luck with everything in the future.
Peggie Perkins: Jessica, the pleasure was all mine! Knowing each other all these years through Myspace, Facebook and TSM has been wonderful! Thank you!