Perry Michael Allen was born and raised in Memphis U.S.A., the heartland of Soul. Allen’s musical roots run deep into the contemporary music marketplace. His father Perry Allen, an educator and Memphis’ foremost jazz radio disc-jockey left a lasting impression on the young and talented musician.
During high school, Allen was awarded the unique opportunity to study the art of record making with some of Memphis’s greatest session musicians. Under the wings of master producer “Papa” Willie Mitchell and Stax hit writer David Porter (of “Soul Man” fame). Allen sharpened his songwriting and production skills and later became an artist/writer and arranger for both Stax Records and the legendary Hi Records where he worked for many years with Mitchell and soul legend Al Green, during their chart-topping careers.
Since then, Master Perry Michael Allen has collaborated on numerous successful and famous albums. Berklee College of Music has recognized Perry Michael Allen as a Music Production Specialist.
As a composer and arranger, “Session-Man” Allen has received many awards including RIAA Certified Gold and Platinum Albums and the coveted Memphis Blues Foundation “Blue Note Award”. His songs and tracks are also licensed to many movies and TV shows. Some are: “C.S.I.” -“Dr. House MD” -“JAG”, “Ally McBeal”, and for movies “Pulp Fiction”, “Munich”, Mickey Blue Eyes and many more.
In addition to his own records for Stax, Hi, and other record companies, Allen penned three hits for Al Green; “Hanging On”, “So Good To Be Here” and “Soon As I Get Home” as well as recording and arranging for other well-knowns such as Bozz Skaggs, The Sweet Inspirations, Albert King, Wilson Pickett, Anita Ward, The Memphis Horns, Bobby Rush, The Soul Children, Syl Johnson, European groups “Wet Wet Wet”, Axelle Red and others.
During his first term at Stax Records, he recorded “The Sweet Inspirations”, the legendary backup singers of Aretha Franklin and Elvis Presley and also recorded David Porter’s album “Sweat and Love”, accompanying Porter at the famous WattStax concert which was the subject of the groundbreaking film of the same name. He later was songwriter/arranger/vocalist with the Stax/Fantasy records group “KILO”.
During his early years at Hi Records Allen made many recordings with The Hi Rhythm Section and worked for years alongside Mitchell and the legend of soul Al Green co-writing, arranging, and appearing with Al Green as musical director in Las Vegas, on Broadway, and a host of theatres and television programs including The Tonight Show, The Late Show, Soul Train, and The Midnight Special.
Allen also worked on projects at Fame Records (Muscle Shoals) with writer George Jackson and performed as keyboardist/ vocalist on Anita Ward’s “Ring My Bell” tour. Allen later was called to work as producer/arranger/musician for Willie Mitchells’ new record label “Waylo”. For the Waylo label, he arranged and recorded the works of Al Green (He Is The Light) “Lynn White”, “Lanier &Co.”, the European group “Wet Wet Wet” (The Memphis Sessions), David Hudson’s album “Night & Day” and others as well as his own singles “Music All The Time”, “Turn On The Music”, “Ooo Wee” and “Highway”.
Perry Michael arrived in Europe for the first time touring as music director and road manager for superstar and friend Al Green. Later that year, he decided to return to Europe. Since moving there he has written, produced, and recorded his own work, including the CD “Deep Inside” for Irma Molto Jazz, and “On The Radio”, “Push Push Push” and other singles for Tabloid/Polygram. Working with acclaimed house producer Gianni Bini, Allen released several mixes including “Ride” and “Back To My Roots”. Also during this time, his “Simple Things” EP was the first release for his independent label Nugen Music. The single “Club House Jam” is the second and precedes the album “Tracks Vol. 1”. The Album “Now and Then” will be released in 2019.
Allen is now a major contributor to the revival of Soul Music in Europe where he now lives and has reunited and worked with many friends and mentors including Isaac Hayes, The Blues Brothers, Solomon Burke, Booker T., and the MGs, the late great Rufus Thomas and countless others.
Adding to an ongoing career Allen now offers “Session Man” courses and music production counseling to emerging artists/musicians, European music institutes, and recording studios.
When asked why he wanted to offer his courses, Allen replied:
“I was lucky to be inspired by great artists and producers and to have them as mentors. I want to convey inspiration and knowledge to musicians and artists who feel they are “on the outside looking in”. For me, there is nothing more rewarding than the feeling that you get when someone tells you that their success is due to what they learned from you and the things you’ve been able to convey to them”.