Perry L. Jackson: The Old Deer Hunter


9.7 out of 10 people would probably find it completely unlistenable, but in 10 years of collecting records this is perhaps the most fascinating lp I’ve found. I am personally filled past brimming with joy each and every time I hear it. I suppose I should try and explain why…

Perry L. Jackson can’t sing, and he can’t play guitar. This is not really my opinion – it is something that bowls you over immediately. I believe my initial reaction was, “Dear lord, it’s like the Shaggs and Johnny Cash had a baby!” Sorry – that is a bad visual. Anyhow, this is an analogy I’ve often used when trying to explain this lp to people. Unlike most “real people” records which are normally just bad lounge singer rejects, there is no shred of evidence that Perry had any ambition to be a musical success. These seem to be no more than the plain songs of a mostly ordinary man – ranging in topic from falling into a loveless marriage, to his strangely beautiful ode to the desert – “Desert Wind”. But mostly they are about deer hunting which is a pass-time he seems to have spent a great deal of his life pondering.

If ever anything were going to motivate me to quest for “the story” behind a record, normally something which I consider creepy, this would be it. The cover is completely absent of information which gives it the irresistible allure of being shrouded in mystery. And, unlike most unknown records – which there are enough of out there to shingle the roofs of all the houses in your neighborhood (and that is probably one of the better uses for most of them) this is special. Unfortunately though, this record appears to be at least 40 years old as of this writing – and seeing that he looks to be a man of advancing years in the grainy cover picture, Perry L. Jackson it almost certainly dead. And for me it is just as well that he has taken whatever secrets about this strange and moving artifact with him to the grave as they were most likely never meant to be secrets in the first place.

68 Comments

  • wow! i am speechless and yearning for more. i just listened to “Desert Wind” and i want so badly to hear the rest of this album. is there anyway you could post a few more songs, maybe even send me the whole album? i am jealous.

  • haha, yeah – been meaning to burn the whole lp. Are you signed up on the BBS? I can post it there when I get a minute.

  • yeah man! that would be great. thanks so much!

  • dude… this is mindblowing. i need the whole thing…

  • I’ve promised several people a burn of this. Should be able to get to it soon. I will post MP3’s on our forum, or, if you need a hard copy I can make you a disc.

  • Perry L. Jackson is my father. He is still alive and in a care center in Richfield. I have original records of “The Old Deer Hunter” plus more and audio tapes.

    Jerry Jackson

  • Perry L. Jackson is my father. He is still living and is in a rest home. He recored that lp in 1956. Leigh Crosby was Bing Crosby cousin I believe. Perry was born in 1919.

  • retraction! The lp cover you have was recorded in Salt Lake City Ut in the early seventies. His first lp was made in Hollywood in 1956. It consists of 2-45-lps. they have a good marriage and are still married this day.

  • Perry L. Jackson is my father. I grew up listening to him playing guitar and singing. He was a Utah tourist guide who took tourists from all over the United States into places of Utah that required a 4-wheel drive jeep. (He ususally drove a Willey’s jeep.) At night, when camp had been made and dinner was over (which he cooked for the tourists), he would get out his guitar and sing at the campfire. My father wrote the lyrics and music for all of his songs (100+ songs I think). Before I started kindgergarten at age 6, he taught me to sing with him and would reward me with “Smartie” Candies, which I still love to this day. Dad didn’t play guitar and sing to make money; he did it to make people happy. When dad and his guitar were around, there was usually a party going on. AND he was a wonderful deerhunter. Maybe, Jerry or Elvin could tell you a story or two about that. Dad is now 88 years old and living in a carecenter in Richfield, Utah, and I would give almost anything to sit on his lap again and sing to the accompanyment of his guitar for a “Smartie.”

  • Guess What? I am Perry’s grandaughter:) I can’t believe he is on the internet…WOW! I remember sitting at Grandpa’s feet with all the other children and requesting “The Pig Song”, have you heard it? We tried to sing along but could never get the whistling snorting part right. We always ended up laughing! Like Aunt Rhea, what I wouldn’t give to sit as his feet and hear that song again. What a joy it was to see his picture on your site. Thank You.

  • wow. the power of the internet. I honestly thought I’d never find out who Perry L. Jackson was. Thanks so much for sharing, everyone!

  • Perry L. Jackson is also my father. I am one of his nine children. As my sister, Rhea, wrote, my father wrote hundreds of songs. Most of his songs were inspired by his life-experiences. He had a great sense of humor; therefore, many of his songs are filled with humor. In his earlier years he was a farmer, but in 1945 he was hit by a train and pronounced dead. But he had too many mouths to feed to leave this Earth; and his body was too broken to go back into farming: that is when he started guiding tourist in the summer and guiding deer hunters in the fall. Most of his guided tours were in the Utah desert; it was these outings that inspired him to write Desert Wind. The Deer Hunter songs were written about his experiences hunting deer with guided hunters, family, and friends. Other songs on your album were also written on real life experiences: Eatin’ Cold Chicken was a love song he wrote for my mother; isn’t it romantic?

    When on tours in the desert, he gave monuments nicknames; which they are officially named today. The monuments, Mom, Pop, and Henry were named after my mom’s mother, father, and younger brother. Dad named the monument, Shirley’s Temple, after mom; who, by the way, is alive and at age 89 visits my father almost every day.

    Yes, he is a very interesting man who sang, played his guitar, and entertained all those around him. We do not expect him to be with us much longer and the chosen song for his farewell appropriately goes something like “My old guitar is silent now as it hangs upon the wall…….”

  • Wow, how amazing to see the family come out and respond! Jerry if you have extra copies of “The Old Deer Hunter” on vinyl I would love to buy a copy . Please contact me at radsuar@ earthlink.net Thank you!

  • It was a secret for a long long time, but Perry L. Jackson is also my father.

    I am the tenth child of Perry L. Jackson, sprung from one night of passion. My mother was a dancer based in Reno, named Gurtis Jefferson. Gurty (as well tend to call her) and Perry met in Salt Lake City in ’72 while she was out there muling dope for this player name of Detrius Carver. I guess she musta went for a hike or something! And I am the soul evidence of those passionate moments. It is so nice to hear that Perry is getting known!

  • Tyrone are you for real???? I have to say that I’m a bit skeptical.

  • Alright Dad, Aunt Rhea and Aunt Faun, get your stories straight. Is Grandpa 87, 88, or 89?

  • Hey Tyrone! Welcome to the family. However, I am also a bit skeptical because the words “Perry Jackson” and “night of passion” just don’t jive. I think they’re an oxymoron.

  • Dad was born in 1919. You do the math! My calculator says 87 going on 88 this coming year.

  • You might think the man was not passionate. I can understand that. I don’t like to think of my mama up under no man neither! But to hear her tell it, he had quite a way with words… and that guitar of his.

    But do not doubt me – old Detrius met his untimely end behind some mess like that.

  • Hey Jessie! Let’s get together and practice “The Hog song.” If you can whistle, I can snort!

  • It looks like it about time for some DNA tests.

  • Family, a beautiful gift in life.

  • Tyrone, Which song was it that won your mama’s hear? “Out Behind The Barn,” “The #3 Tub,” “Burgler man,” or “Little house out back?” I know which one is my favorite…

  • I am the youngest and of course the best looking of Perry’s children, # 9. Although I’m not sure the other 8 would agree. Then of course I have never heard of Tyrone. While guiding tours in the 40s and 50s dad was encouraged to go to Hollywood and make his first album. He didn’t like the life style there so he returned to Utah. He was under contract with the record company for ten years, but didn’t have any desire to return to Hollywood to make another album. After the contract was up he made a few albums on his own. I don’t know if dad considered himself a singer as much as an entertainer. He loved to make people happy. He spent a lot of time entertaining for free at places such as nursing homes. You can see Perry in the June 1952 issue of The National Geographic Magazine, pages 734, 740 and 742.

  • Thank you hcrink
    A little about our family. Perry has 9 children. The olderst daughter has not written on your site, and neither has the second son. Faun was next in line and then Jerry, Elvin, a daughter that hasnt written. then a son who passed away. Then comes Rhea and Stanton. Jessi is my daughter.
    It makes me wonder why this site was quite from May 23 2006 until Dec. 10,2006. On Dec 10 I looked up my Father on the Internet. I gave a friend a CD I had made of 23 of my Fathers songs, he suggested that I see if there was anything on the internet about my father. When I found this site I let my family know. It seems sort of funny that from may to dec the site was what I would call dead, that you heard from no one. And then tyrone. michael, samuel & glenda use your site. Were these people just watching this site, and then wrote something. Or is it the site owner just checking to see if we are for real. Well thank you for a good time. I have enjoyed it. If anyone has questions or comments they would like to ask me, Just post you E-mail address and I will answer with what ever I can.
    Thank you
    Elvin C. Jackson

  • Elvin, I would love to hear the cd that you made your friend of your fathers songs. If you’d be willing to share, I’d gladly pay all S&H charges.

    The day I heard “Desert Wind” I nearly cried. It was such a wonderful song. I wanted to hear the entire album, but I’ve never had that chance.

    If you’d be willing to make me a cd, you can contact me at ivegonecountry@hotmail.com

    It was really cool to see the whole family posting here!

  • The man lived his life like he wanted to and had adventures we would all dream to have. My hats off to Perry for dreaming big and actually doing things in life instead of just letting life pass him by. If it wasnt for him I would’nt have my beautiful wife today. Thank You Mr.Jackson

  • I know Perry Jackson well and have spent hours with him on the high deserts and listening to him plunk and sing his songs. His son Elvin and I served together in Vietnam, and he stands beside me as I type this comment!

  • Perry Jackson is my uncle, younger brother to my mother, and he is my friend. When my older brother and I were kids we really looked forward to our visits at his place because our country cousins where a little bit crazy and we had a lot of fun. But then after a few days it was time to return to the city – BORING… I have three grown children of my own and when they were kids I made certian they had the opportunity to meet and get to know their Uncle Perry, even though we lived several states away. He is a fine man, one of a kind, and is loved and respected by all that know him. His music and sense of humor and love of life is his legacy – one that will endure for many years. Several years ago I was working in the area where he grew up and raised his family. When I met people of his generation I would always identify myself as his nephew – and that gave me credibility in a small town. Not everyone has an Uncle Perry, but I do, and I am gratefull…

  • Today May 12, 2007, Perry L Jackson my father passed away in Richfield, Utah.
    Elvin Jackson

  • Rest in Peace, Perry.

  • Will miss you grandpa..your music lives on my ipod.

  • Where ever daddy is,I’m sure he is very, very happy, and making music with his family and friends that passed on before him. Love ya, daddy.

  • Perry was my Grandmother Eleanor’s brother. My parents Joe and marrion have been able to provide much the same opportunities for me and my siblings that perry and shirly provided for thier children. ‘A life filled with open space, love of family, a gazillion memories of camping, fishing, hunting, exploring and respect for life.
    I feel that we have lost so much in perry’s passing, yet gained so much from having known him.
    I look forward to seeing him again one day.

  • Elvin Jackson is my father by adoption, which makes Perry my adoptive grandfather. In life, Perry treated my mother and me as Jacksons, through and through. Sometimes when a child is adopted into a family they can feel like an outcast. I never felt like an outcast when it came to Grandpa Perry and Grandma Shirley, or Grandpa and Grandma Jackson as we called them growing up. He will always be my grandpa, even though he’s not still with us. I love you grandpa, and will keep your memory sacred as long as I live. Rest in peace, deer hunter.

  • . . .Goodbye Daddy. . .
    My father’s funeral services was awesome, a tribute to honor his long life, well lived. People from all over came to help celebrate his passing (after 4 years in the care center). His song “Cowboy’s Goodbye” was one of the first two he wrote and his own words appropriately describe his crossing over to that wonderful world he now explores.

    Cowboy’s Goodbye

    My old guitar is silent now
    As it hangs upon the wall.
    But I haven’t got a worry or a care.
    I hear the boss a-calling,
    A-calling me back home,
    There’s a riding job for me a way up there.

    My old paint horse is waiting,
    Waiting there for me.
    He knows I’ll come to ride him by and by,
    And I know that we’ll be happy,
    Riding on that range
    And rounding up the dogies in the sky.

    I’m getting old and feeble.
    I cannot ride no more.
    My work upon this range is nearly done.
    I hear His voice a calling,
    Calling me back home.
    It’s the call that brings us home, one by one.

    My friends are all up there,
    And they have a place for me.
    They know I’ll come to join them by and by.
    I know that they’ll be happy
    When they see me riding up
    To that little old bunk house up in the sky.

  • Rest in peace. His album is one of my favorites ever.

  • Howdy,just thought I`d say hi from Tokyo and that I really loved what I just listened to so,so much!Reminded me a little of some of the Charlie Feathers demo`s.Anyway,a wonderful site!Thanks so much for introducing some truely otherworldly tunes.I`d also really love the chance to get a c.d copy of this,if possible.Will gladly pay for all costs.Reguards,mark

  • While trekking the ‘net looking for information on this most passionate and wonderful man – to my ears, of course; I never met him – I would very much like to hear “The Deer Hunter” in its entirety and any other records he has floating around. Are there any plans to reissue any of this material through a small label?

    My email is mistermaldy@gmail.com – I hope to hear more from this unique man from a family member/expert/both!

    Thank you all very much, and rest in peace, Perry!

    -Josh

  • Uncle Perry, you truly blessed our lives. Thank you for the songs, music and entertainment. You always had a joke and a twinkle in your eyes. Thank you for playing at our wedding. That was the last time I saw children gathered at your feet to listen and laugh to “The Hog Song” and “Burgler Man”. Your funeral was a wonderful gathering of family and beautiful tribute to your life. Your sweetheart, Shirley, is still as sweet as ever. I will drive the old Willy’s jeep into the hills and desert in honor of you and your brother Worthen; join us for a ride anytime.

  • i am another THIRSTY listener who would adore a copy of this album, or ust a cance to listen to the other mp3s, will pay full shipping and handling. Contact at theconstants6@yahoo.com.

  • j Worthen jackson I knew Worthen was he your father? My dad build the church in fremont with the help of the town of fremont about 1964 or so..
    Kent Jackson and I were good friends then and there was a older brother Maylan I think ..Are you one of those people? Call Phil in Salt lake city if so..My dad loves the perry jackson tape he has…

  • I am wanting to find a cd of Perry Jackson that has The Pig Song, #3Tub, Crowded Trailer and other songs from the same tape. If you can help me I would really appreciate it. Thank you.

  • I have a copy of “The Old Deer Hunter” and since there was no information of the cover, I thought I would try the internet. Sure glad I did….I was going to sell the LP, but now I am taking it downstairs to play it. Thanks for all the information about Perry Jackson.

  • hi bill – if you are at all interested in selling your copy, please drop me a line: hobbes@wcvt.com

  • Here is a blog about Perry L. Jackson. http://perrysroots.blogspot.com/ One of the favoite sites on the sidebar also takes you to a website where you can listen to some of his songs.

  • By far, one of my best acquisitions this year. Thanks again, secret Santa.

  • My dad was telling me about the Fremont Troubadour, Perry Jackson, tonight. So I decided to check it out on the internet. The only song I can get is “Desert Wind,” and it’s great! I went to the site with the obituary, it had songs listed but they didn’t work. I’d certainly like to get all I could of this, it’s real music. I’m sure my dad would too. He’s Merrill VanDyke, son of Delmar and Romania, from Lyman. I’m Brad at Bvd98@yahoo.com, currently near Spring City.

  • Would love the CD or any Lp other than the Deer Hunter which I have and love. My email is nivan170@yahoo.com
    Thanks, Mike

  • Could you please let me know the words to the song “Bugler Man” or would love to have the album or cd. Thank you.

  • My father, Worthen, and Perry Jackson were brothers. I am the oldest of Worthen’s children, so I spent many long hours with the two of them around an open fire in the mountains or the desert. Of course, Perry always sang for us. I heard him sing, too, in the country parades, on KSVC, in the church in Fremont, and many other places. He always made us happy; he always made us laugh.

    I never spoke to him without a joke or happy story. He was always ready with a song as well. This short comment of his is representative: Perry: “We were playing and singing one night until the wee hours of the morning when this guy comes from down the hall and says: ‘Do you know there’s an old man trying to sleep down there?” Perry answered: “Well I don’t know it right off, but if you will hum a bar, we can probably sing it for you.”

    On time when he still lived in Fremont (about 1996), I took a group of Mongolian dignitaries to visit him and hear him sing. They loved him and his songs. I got tapes for all of them. I am in Mongolia now and when I ride with one of these people they inevitably play his tape. You are loved around the world, Uncle Perry.

    Malan R. Jackson

  • Im totally four (or 40) years too late, but who cares, this is timeless. . . . What an amazing glimpse into what’s his face’s life (deer hunter). Like a wildlife journal music diary or something. Cool.

  • hey Malan this is Phil Behling my dad built the church in fremont (supervisor) I sort of remember you Kent and I were freinds..do you know where i can buy some of Perrys recordings my day has 2 tapes and has about worn them out… he is almost 93 now.. flip

  • I am the oldest daughter of Chloanelle Hansen who was Harvey and Pansy’s Jackson daughter. I remember as a child listening to Uncle Perry. I always believed that he was a movie star. I could have listened to him for hours. He could make you laugh and then make you cry in the next song. I always thought his songs were so heart felt. I still have all of his tapes that I have saved thru the years, and I listen to them often. My children all want them as well. So they will be passed on for generations to come. I would always stop to visit him when I went to Fremont. He certainly did leave a legacy of love for all of us. He was always so glad to see you and sing for you. Thank you for the memories Uncle Perry and I will always be your biggest fan! I love you. . .

  • Holy Cow, I always knew the Jacksons were famous. They could sing, dance and shoot, and hit what they shot at. I remember camping with Mom and Dad and the group of bikers(four-wheelers) that they rode with from the Temple, out by Factory Mesa. After five days, Mom promised to have entertainment for the last night. After dinner, we were sitting around the campfire, when we could see the headlights of an oncoming car. When it arrived, lo and behold, it was Uncle Perry and Shirley in full cowboy attire, ready to entertain. And they did, for at least an hour and a half non-stop. Everyone enjoyed the show so much, they all bought a tape, that Perry just happened to have copies of with him. I will always remember the twinkle in Perry’s eyes as he sang under the desert sky that night. My favorites were Jack was a Lonesome Cowboy and Desert Wind.

  • I knew Perry and hunted Indian arrowheads with him. I know some of his story, as to this day he is still one of the most fascinating people I have ever met. He was a wonderful person and treated me like a son.

    rankinruss@yahoo.com

  • I’m Perry’s great grandson. I never knew my great grandfather very well and I was never close to the family but I was able to get some of his songs from my uncle Dennis, Perry’s grandson. My grandfather is Vern Jackson and I’m the son of Johnny. I know a lot of people on here are my relatives and I’d love to reconnect in some way. Anyway, this music is very important to me and I’d love to buy a copy of one of his vinyls if anybody has one. I know this is a long shot but I’m willing to pay a couple hundred bucks for it. I don’t have a lot that links me to my heritage and this would be the ideal thing to show to my children and grandchildren someday. If you have anything you’d be willing to share with me please email me at jjw82@byulaw.net. Thanks

  • i miss my grandpa and grandma alot i would spend time in the summer when i was kid. i would like copies of grandpas music

  • I picked up The old Deer Hunter album at the Savers in Orem last year. I am a folk singer from Australia and it’ piqued my interest because I love to come across old folk records. I noticed it said Bicknell on the album and I had to look it up online because I live in Boulder, Ut just over the mountain. What a suprise to find this truly local artist. I will be singing these songs around the campfires on boulder mountain at the deer hunt . Music really does transcend time, generations and countries.

  • V. Thorn…Perry lived in Fremont and Caineville, but only worked in Bicknell. But we know where Boulder is…and it’s a beautiful little town.

    Glad to hear you will be singing his songs. I’m sure they will be great.

  • great! thank you for the information. I am right now playing this lp for the first time. There are other artists in this style try tex carmen, omo Hondro the hobo I’ll list some others at a later date.
    What a great find.

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