Perry, Paul

Paul Perry (b Guloien). Tenor saxophonist, bandleader, b Wadena, north-east of Regina, of Norwegian parents, 3 Oct 1916. The second eldest of eight children, he taught himself and his brothers Edward, Howard, and Jim Guloien to play saxophone. He led a dance band, in which his brothers played, 1939-40 in Medicine Hat, Alta, and 1940-4 in other western Canadian cities including Calgary (Penley's Pavilion) and Regina (Trianon Ballroom). In 1947 Perry, with Jim Guloien and the pianist Geoff Hall, bought Varsity Hall at Sylvan Lake (south of Edmonton), and the Paul Perry Orchestra performed there May to September each year until 1965. The band also toured each spring in central Alberta. Perry spent his winters in Vancouver playing in show bands and CBC orchestras and later lived there in retirement, taking occasional dance band engagements. Many distinguished jazz musicians played in Perry's bands, among them his son P.J., the trumpeters Chuck Barber, Arnie Chycoski, Don Clark, Bobby Hales, and Herbie Spanier, the trombonist Ray Sikora, the pianists Chris Gage, John Gittens, Ralph Grierson, and Ron Johnston, and the drummers Jerry Fuller, Stan Perry (no relation), George Ursan, and Jim Wightman. A reunion of the Perry orchestra was organized in Saskatoon by the Saskatchewan Jazz Festival in 1989.

Paul's brothers Howard Guloien (b Wadena 8 Feb 1923) and Jim Guloien (b Wadena 6 Aug 1927) also played in dance bands, including the Perry orchestra.