Happy Birthday Steve Perry: Relive the Rock Icon’s Best Moments

by Suzanne Halliburton

Happy birthday, Steve Perry. In your 72 years, you’ve given us so many glorious songs.

Now, it’s time to honor Steve Perry. So, get your mic and warm up those vocal chords. We’re going to have a Friday sing-a-long.

First, let’s get some Steve Perry factoids out of the way.

He was the lead singer for “Journey.” And, he enjoyed a nice solo career outside of the rock group. He and Journey were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2017.

Perry played in several bands throughout the 1970s, but none of them enjoyed much success. He wanted to quit the music business and return home, but his mother talked him into sticking with it. Perry met with Herbie Herbert, who managed a fledgling rock band in San Francisco. That’s when Steve Perry and Journey started their long, iconic relationship, of course.

Perry made his first official appearance with Journey on Oct. 28, 1977. His voice was beautiful, powerful and multi-dimensional. He was best at hitting and holding the highest notes. And his songs still pack a popular punch decades later.

Yes, Steve Perry, We’ll Keep Believing

Remember this one? Take a listen and we’ll give you some back story on the other side.

Steve Perry and Journey released “Don’t Stop Believin’ ” in 1981. It was the second single released from the Journey album “Escape.” The song hit No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

But the song enjoyed a renewal a quarter century later.

Did you know it was the soundtrack for the final moments for Tony Soprano? That’s Tony Soprano, the lead character in HBO’s critically acclaimed and wildly popular “The Sopranos.” In the final scene of the final show in 2007, Tony, the New Jersey mob boss, hits the button on the table jukebox. “Don’t Stop Believin,’ ” comes on. Tony looks up. Then the screen goes black. The end.

Perry said in order for him to give permission for HBO to use the song, he wanted no “blood bath.” In an interview with People magazine, Perry gave his thoughts on how the show ended.

“In my opinion, he sees his daughter, but I guess we’ll never know the ending,” Perry said. “But the point of the song playing is that you just don’t give up, life goes on even if you’re the Sopranos.

“It doesn’t matter what you do for a living. In the midst of his turbulent life and everything, there’s always this sense of family and this sense of dreams and hopes for some kind of normalcy – some kind of don’t-give-up, don’t-stop-believing feeling. I actually shouted “All right!” at the end.”

That still wasn’t the end for the song’s resurgence.

The cast of the TV dramedy Glee sang a cover of it in 2010.

And, how many times have you heard sports teams play the song at stadiums or arenas? It’s inspired so many championship runs.

Steve Perry Is “Faithfully” Singing For Your Heart

Need to hear the definition of a love ballad. Check out “Faithfully.”

Perry and Journey released “Faithfully” in 1983. It was the second single from “Frontiers.” The song peaked at No. 12 on Billboard.

Journey keyboardist Jonathan Cain wrote the song on the back of a paper napkin as he was riding on the band’s tour bus to a concert in New York. The music video was a mini documentary about Journey’s life on the road.

The song was so good that it was used in some movies and on TV. Glee, which was Journey-friendly, picked it up. And the song was playing in a bar scene during the comedy “Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby.”

“Anyway You Want It”? Yes, Please

Steve Perry and Neal Schon co-wrote this masterpiece.

Journey released this gem in February, 1980, as the lead single from the album “Departure.” The band included it on all four of their live albums.

The song peaked at No. 23 on the charts. Perry said the Irish band “Thin Lizzy” influenced the song.

Our Last Journey Hit For The Day

For our final song in this Steve Perry look back, we give you “Open Arms.”

Journey released this as a single in 1981 from their album, Escape. The song also was included in the Heavy Metal soundtrack.

It’s one of Journey’s most beloved love songs. And it also is the group’s top-performing release. It reached No. 2 on the Billboard charts.

Steve Perry still is going strong. He released a comeback album in 2018. And during the pandemic lockdown last year, he shared his version of the Beach Boys song “In My Room.”

Perry released his comeback album again a month ago, but used only seven of the songs from the original.

Happy Birthday, Steve Perry. You and your music are timeless.