Sunset Series: Sunday evening summer concerts wrap with the Perrys this weekend

Published 7:30 am Wednesday, June 28, 2023

The popular Summer Sunset series hosted each Sunday evening of June in The Grove is being extended to July 2. The concert, which was originally scheduled for June 18, will feature the Perry Family.

The concert was planned to feature the Perry Family, which included Bill “Howl-N-Madd” Perry, his son Bill Perry Jr, and daughter Shy Perry following their return from a concert and family tour of Africa.

Unfortunately, Bill Howl-N- Madd Perry passed away unexpectedly at the conclusion of the trip. The concert now offers a chance to celebrate this musical family and the gifts their talents have given to Mississippi.

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Bill  Jr. and Shy will perform the final concert of the Summer Sunset Series on Sunday at 6 p.m. The free concert is sponsored by the University of Mississippi Museum and Oxford Toyota and Belk Ford.

Bill Howl-N-Madd Perry started playing music professionally at age 14, becoming a producer, writer and performer. He lived an amazing life with his wife of 56 years and his four kids; Sharo (Shy), Vanessa, Sherry and Bill Jr.

Bill’s last performance was in Luanda, Angola. With his son Bill and daughter Shy, he performed at the International Jazz Festival 2023 in Luanda, Angola. Pauline Perry accompanied them on the trip.

Billy Joe Perry, best known as Howl-N-Madd, was born in Tula. His ancestors lived in the same shack where he was born. His mother always worked, and she carried him in her cotton sack while she picked cotton. His father was a sharecropper and pulpwood hauler.

He inspired his kids to play music and started a family band called The Perrys. Howl-N-Madd was on lead guitar, his son Bill was on lead keys, his daughter Shy played bass keyboard and they had a drummer. The Perrys performed for five months in Hong Kong, China, and for three months in Jakarta, Indonesia. They toured across America and played many festivals and tours.

Bill then formed The Bill Howl-N-Madd Perry band. He also performed as a duo with his daughter Shy, becoming one of the most popular duo groups performing in clubs and festivals nationally and internationally.

Howl-N-Madd is noted on several Mississippi Blues Markers. He is also the subject of an exhibit at the Delta Blues Museum in Clarksdale. He was a music teacher at the Delta Blues Museum for five years and he helped educate many young children about the blues.

A community fundraiser has been organized to preserve the legacy of Bill Howl-N-Madd Perry. Donations can be made through a Go Fund Me campaign online or by mailing donations in Memory of Bill Howl-n-Madd Perry to P.O. Box 544, Oxford, MS 38655.