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Paul Butterfield


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Paul Butterfield
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Paul Butterfield (December 17, 1942 – May 4, 1987) was an American blues harmonica player and singer, and one of the earliest white exponents of the Chicago-originated electric blues style.

Paul Butterfield, a lawyer’s son, was born and grew up in Chicago. After studying classical flute as a teen, he developed a love for the blues harmonica, and hooked up with white, blues-loving, University of Chicago physics student Elvin Bishop (later of “Fooled Around and Fell In Love” fame). The two started hanging around great black blues players like Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, and Junior Wells. Butterfield and Bishop soon formed a band with Jerome Arnold and Sam Lay (both of Howlin’ Wolf’s band). In 1963, a watershed event in introducing blues to white America occurred when this racially mixed ensemble was made the house band at the Chicago blues club Big John’s. Butterfield was still underage, (as was guitarist Mike Bloomfield, who was already working there in his own band).

The Paul Butterfield Blues Band was signed to Elektra Records after adding Michael Bloomfield as lead guitarist. Their original debut album was scrapped, then re-recorded after the addition of organist Mark Naftalin. Finally, their self-titled debut, The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, was released in 1965. It had an immediate impact, serving as a wakeup call for a generation of musicians.


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  • AllTheYungDudes

    I've got a mind to give up living, and go shopping instead. Pick me up a tombstone, and be pronounced dead.

    7 Jan 2011 Reply
  • pilfanatic

    Wow. Before I heard East-West, I thought Pink Floyd pioneered / with Interstellar Overdrive and Nick's Boogie

    24 Feb 2009 Reply
  • ednaha

    The Butterfield Blues Band knocked the music world on its butt in the mid-60s and raised the bar in what was considered popular music, inspiring such later bands as "The Electric Flag," "Blood, Sweat and Tears" and J. Geils. It's a shame that some of the earlier work is underrepresented on this play list. I'm just sayin'. His untimely death left a void that still hasn't been filled two decades later.

    2 Sep 2008 Reply
  • floydian19

    I find it insulting and I'm sure Paul would to if he were still with us that there hasn't been at least one damn comment on his this page I mean come on people start jamming out to his stuff and acknowledging his genius!

    7 May 2008 Reply

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