Steve Perry turns 65 today. While Journey probably isn't Rock and Roll Hall of Fame caliber, they certainly sold tons of albums, filled loads of stadiums, and Steve Perry sang some of the great anthems and ballads of our lives with a clear, powerful voice that no one can mistake as anyone else's.
Strangely, he wasn't even the original lead singer of Journey, he was actually the third! Journey's original singer was Gregg Rolie, who sang while playing his usual keyboards, just as he did with Santana years before. After doing three musically solid but poor-selling prog/fusion rock albums, band management decided a dedicated lead singer was needed and took a chance on a guy named Steve Fleischman, who lasted all of a few months.
Enter Perry, who gave up on a career in various bands to work on the family farm. Journey's manager Herbie Herbert had heard a tape of him singing and arranged a meeting, and the rest is history.
Journey has seen several other singers come and go since Perry's late-90s departure, but to everyone, Perry will always be "The Voice."
Happy birthday Steve!
Steve and Journey performing in 1978, before they became superstars: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=feQlxWdXrho