Perry played violin as a child, but switched to alto sax when he wished to join a local band. He attended Starr College in West Virginia, studying piano there, and had his own band in Gary, Indiana by 1940. In 1945 he went to Los Angeles, appearing in a show with Dorothy Donegan and Nat King Cole; while there he made his first recordings as a leader. He led a band called the Pied Pipers through the middle of the 1950s, making many records and touring across the United States multiple times (as well as Canada in 1951). He recorded for Melodisc, United Artists, Excelsior, De Luxe, Specialty, Dot, RPM, Lucky, Unique, Look, and Hollywood during this period. After ca. 1954 Perry went into a hiatus from music, but returned to play after moving to Bakersfield in 1967. In the 1970s he played as a one-man band with organ, saxophone, and percussion. Around this time he also released a number of comedy albums for his own label, Octive. He later moved into real estate.