PAUL BUTTERFIELD FUND AND SOCIETY
The Legendary Paul Butterfield Lives on:
Paul Butterfield was a dynamic bridge between races and cultures and his impact on the masses are so vast and so diversified. His impact has brought forth years worth of quotes reflecting on his instrumental role in the blues and his overwhelming influences upon individual’s and these dominant documented quote sources include, but are not limited to such prominent characters as B.B. King, Dan Aykroyd, Paul Rothchild, Bill Graham, Dave Sanborn, Eric Clapton, Sam Lay, Mike Bloomfield, and countless others.
There simply is not a record company around that does not recognize the Butterfield name, particularly as Paul helped put numerous companies on the map, nor is there a harp player in the world who does not know who Paul Butterfield is.
The late Paul Rothchild, who brought both Paul Butterfield & the Doors to Elektra Records in the mid 60’s, called Paul Butterfield-- “A SEMINAL AMERICAN MUSICIAN WHO CHANGED THE COURSE OF MODERN ROCK & ROLL BY FIRMLY BRINGING THE BLUES IDIOM INTO THE WORLD OF WHITE MUSIC”.
Musicologist Bernie Pearl stated, “PAUL BUTTERFIELD TOOK A MUSIC THAT WAS DYING ON THE SOUTH SIDE OF CHICAGO & BREATHED NEW LIFE INTO IT”.
Renowned publisher Victor Forbes tells us just exactly where Paul took that music by reminding us of “THE NEWPORT FOLK FESTIVAL, MONTEREY POP FESTIVAL, WOODSTOCK, THE LAST WALTZ, FILMORE EAST, FILMORE WEST,
WINTERLAND, & MADISON SQUARE GARDEN”. And by asking one simple question “NAME THE ONLY ARTIST WHO STARRED AT ALL OF THE ABOVE? And for which he also graciously provides the answer: “PAUL BUTTERFIELD”.
The late Paul Butterfield was world-wide renowned as the legendary blues harmonica player that was pinnacle in the blues revival of the sixties. And one of the first integrated bands, helping to bring a predominantly considered black style of music into white homes, increasing the popularity of this style of music; likewise, merging blues and even folk music into a blues rock. Paul Butterfield and his band (The Paul Butterfield Blues Band) backed Bob Dylan in the controversial performance at the Newport Festival in 1965 when Bob Dylan “plugged in” and folk purists hit the ceiling. Paul Butterfield had an incredible impact on music history making and made it possible for many of our famed present day performers to be where they are today.
He brought further acclaim to Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf, and as well as many of the recognized musicians that are common household names today some that emerged from Paul Butterfield’s bands.
Beyond the racial element Paul forged the ways for others to follow, bridging the gap between age, race and cultures and created forums for performers that previously did not exist. He enhanced and developed young performer’s careers and obtained a pay for these performers that they could not acquire elsewhere. He touched the souls of many and to this day his unique style and technique continues to influences musicians. His contributions were many and his legacy is one that should be carried on forever.
Today, if you go online you will discover well over one million matches on Paul and his undeniable impact on the music world. And in his short life span he recorded and performed on numerous albums and was represented on record samplings on a global basis.
He is documented in the Library of Congress, recognized in almost every country in the world and recently inducted into The Blues Hall of Fame and was inducted into The Blues Foundation Hall of Fame in May 2006.
To Name only a few of the Musicians listed on various Paul Butterfield’s Albums:
Sam Lay, George Davidson, Gene Dinwiddie, Ted Harris, Rod Hicks, Trevor Lawrence, Steve Madaio, Ralph Wash, Phillip Wilson, Dave Sanborn, Keith Johnson, Buzzy Feiten, Jerome Arnold, Mike Bloomfield, Mark Naftalin, Billy Davenport, Bugsy Maugh, Fred Beckmier, Dennis Whitted, Big Black, Amos Garret, Ronnie Barron, Billy Rich, Christopher Parker, Geoff Muldaur, Bobby Charles, Sam Burtis, Amos Garrett, Howard Johnson, Stan Shafran, J.D. Parran--tenor sax, Gary Brocks, Mark Sidgewick, Anton Fig, Paul Shaffer, Blondie Chaplin, Len Leonard- and far too many others to name…
To name a few of the Producers, Assistants, Engineers and Recording Directors on various Paul Butterfield Albums
In addition to Paul Butterfield himself & Geoff Muldaur as Producers, among the list is Todd Rundgren--Producer & engineer, Ray Thompson—Engineer, Paul Rothchild--Producer & Recording Director, Mark Abranson--Assistant Producer & Recording Director, Jac Holzman--Producer Supervisor, Nick Jameson—Engineer, Tom Panunzio-Engineer, Jim Ball---Assistant Producer, John Court—Producer and others.
A Few Labels/Distributers included Amheart, Atlantic, Elektra, Bearsville, Rhino, Warner Brothers Records, Edsel (England)/Wea Records, Milkman’s Chivalree, Chess, Edigsa, Asylum and more…
And Song/Music Writers included again Paul Butterfield, as well as Mike Bloomfield, Elvin Bishop, Nick Gravinites, J. Clark, Jerry Ragovoy, Willie Dixon, W. Jacobs, Morganfield, Gene Dinwiddie and others.
Thus demonstrating the plethora of talent that Paul showcased and those many that he enhanced careers for, combining this with the factor that Paul performed within the Folk, Blues and Rock scenes spanning over two decades of popularity and bringing us to an increased awareness of a Blues Rock musical revolution; with the added factor that after more than 20 years following his passing there still exists a global following of those impacted and influenced by Paul’s presence and unique style, with fans longing for more, and with this said, it is essential that his legacy, musical journey and role in music making history should be recognized and shared for all times to come.
Paul Butterfield, the man Muddy Waters called “MY SON” introduced a whole generation of music lovers to one of our greatest traditions as Americans, the Blues.
Salli Squitieri, Co-Founder of The Paul Butterfield Fund and Society states in summary that “Paul Butterfield made it possible for many of the famed performers that we all know and love to be where they are today, he introduced a predominantly black considered music into white homes raising further the awareness and appreciation of the rich style of Blues Music & history. From the South of Chicago Paul Butterfield carried this music to an international level and helped advance the music careers for many. Hence many of the black performers who had migrated to Chicago were able to step beyond the confinements of the Southside of Chicago. Performers were able to increase their income as a result of performing with Paul and gained a broader spectrum of recognition… Beyond a racial realm Paul Butterfield opened doors that had not been opened before, obtaining performance venues and forums that had not hired any musicians prior to Paul Butterfield & his collective of musicians.”
And importantly let us remember the man who continues to spread his fondness and honor for Paul, who is widely recognized as the greatest “shuffle drummer” in the business, Sam Lay, who during Martin Scorcese’s PBS series on the Blues, specifically the “Godfather’s & Son’s segment told the world, “PAUL BUTTERFIELD OPENED DOORS TO THE BLUES ALL OVER THE WORLD, I KNOW, I WAS RIGHT THERE & WALKED IN RIGHT BEHIND HIM!”. A later addition down the line as Paul’s music progressed & his Band grew, “Butter” who to this day still has people talking about his remarkable ear for talent took a chance on a young saxophone player by the name of David Sanborn who has been quoted as saying “IF IT WAS’NT FOR PAUL BUTTERFIELD I’D BE TEACHING SCHOOL SOMEWHERE IN THE MIDWEST”.
This epitomizes Paul Butterfield, who while founding & fronting his early Bands eventually surrendered his autonomy, which he had learned as a Bandleader watching and performing with Muddy Waters, Little Walter, and Howlin’ Wolf in order to not only showcase, but in many cases take a backseat, his legendary harmonica prowess and gritty urban vocals sitting down with him so he could give his Band mates their chance in the limelight. What eventually developed was a tight-knit working class Blues Band which not only impressed but set the standard for a high level of professionalism.
Paul Butterfield is a name and legend not to be forgotten,
In his brief years he achieved accomplishments that benefited the entire music industry, and he made it possible for many performers to be where they are today.
He touched the souls of many and his legacy is one that should forever be carried on.
Paul Butterfield is a monument to Musical Anthologies of past and present…
We feel the time has come to recognize the achievements and contributions of Paul Butterfield, “The PAUL BUTTERFIELD BLUES BAND”, and the many evolutions of Paul and his assorted bands.
Through the establishment and memorial of the “Paul Butterfield Fund and Society” (PBFS), we embrace him, share his memory with the world and further his gifts.