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Sunday, May 22, 2016

George "Wild Child" Butler - Funky Butt Lover


The great bluesman George "Wild Child" Butler died Tuesday, March 1 in a Windsor, Ontario hospital, the result of a pulmonary embolism. He was 68. Wild Child was born in Autaugaville, Alabama on October 1, 1936 and earned his blues stripes beginning in the late 1950s when he took his unique harmonica sound and singing from rural Alabama juke joints to the clubs of Chicago. In the late 1960s, he performed mostly in New Orleans and Houston before returning to Chicago and then touring extensively. Wild Child eventually settled in Canada with his wife Elaine, who survives him. Wild Child's recording debut came on the Sharp label in 1964. Between 1966 and 1968, he recorded singles produced by Willie Dixon for Jewel Records. He later had releases on Mercury, TK Records, Charly, Rooster Blues, MC Records, Bullseye Blues and APO Records. His final record, Sho' 'Nuff, was released in 2001. Wild Child's performance resume includes tours with Jimmy Rogers, Sam Lay, Lightnin' Hopkins, Cousin Joe and Roosevelt Sykes. He also played periodically with Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Willie Dixon, Jimmie Lee Robinson, John Lee Hooker, Sonny Boy Williamson II and many other famous bluesmen. George Butler came upon his nickname even before he could walk. The little boy took to harassing the women who visited his mother in their rural Alabama shack. He would crawl across the floor and pull on their skirts and legs until the women began telling Beatrice Butler that her son was "a wild child." From the time Wild Child picked up the harp at age five, he played it upside down. Not until about 25 years ago did somebody tell him that the high notes were supposed to be played on the right side of the harp. By then, Wild Child had developed his upside down sound, and that style combined with his syncopated singing has been tough to pigeonhole. "They've always called mine the swamp sound," Wild Child said in 2001. "It's not too fast and not too slow. They calls it snapping blues. I was told from Willie Dixon that I had a way-out strange voice. He said he could hear it between Howlin' Wolf and Lightnin' Hopkins. He said ain't nothing been around like that." Dixon also once told Wild Child: "You are the moan of the suffering woman, the groan of the dying man. You ain't nothing but the blues." Wild Child was a very talented songwriter who performed and recorded almost all originals. He and APO Records were planning another recording session when he died. Wild Child had finished writing all of the songs. To those who knew him, Wild Child will be remembered for his exceptional kindness. He had a child-like innocence and enjoyed laughing about simple observations. He sincerely cared for his friends and checked up on them regularly, even those who never checked on him. APO Records appreciates him as an always-loyal friend who shared generously of his time and talent.Visit http://www.bassharp.com/butler.htm for more info.
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11 comments:

Anonymous said...

my bad luck I pay 30 dollares for a CDR copy of this LP and "Blues Harp Boogie", if only I found this blog early
well thanks for the blues.
very good work

J.P.

Xyros said...

Wow that's alot of money for a copy. Check out my blog in the future and some more Wild Child might turn up. If I rememeber I have a Japanese lp also.

Anonymous said...

Thanks old Blues harp & Chicago blues LP are my passion

Xyros said...

You gave me a theme for the future. I'll dig into my lp's and see what harp lp's I can pull out that are worthwhile.

Anonymous said...

if you have walter and floyd LP "Walter horton and floyd jones" magnolia LP, it be great

Xyros said...

Sorry can't help out with the Horton/Jones lp.

Fourcade said...

Great music! Thanks a lot, I also love harp, and Chg.blues.
Cheers from Spain...

Marineband said...

Yeah, thank you bro....butt rockin'!

Anonymous said...

Had the pleasure of sitting chatting with this gentleman, years ago in Cork, Ireland. After a great gig sat for an age just enjoying the good company.
Bottleneck

Xyros said...

You're a lucky (wo)man for having to get a chance to chat with him. I don't even think I got to see him live in Europe.

Albert said...

Thank you very much