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Billy Butterfield

Billy Butterfield was a trumpet sideman with all the great big bands at one time or another. His smooth, clear tones were employed by Columbia Records in their session bands, in concert with the likes of Ray Conniff. His greatest fame came from a couple of albums he did as the featured performer with Ray Conniff (Conniff Meets Butterfield was one).

I met him one night while I lived in the West Palm Beach, Florida area. I was at the bar at a popular night spot in old Palm Beach called Chuck and Harold's. They featured a sidewalk-side eating area and a black and white checkered terrazzo floor that went past an elegant bar that led to an open-air dancing floor. Booths were arranged around the dancefloor and the richest of the rich drank their martinis and swooned to the music of a full orchestra. And there he was, Billy Butterfield, at the end of his career but still playing a number or two as the featured entertainer with the house orchestra. He thanked me for his drink, played "Rosalie", from the Conniff album and then sort of disappeared, as though he only a few of these songs left in him. But he was as great as Al Hirt, Bobby Hackett and Doc Severenson, all rolled into one. Catch him on Conniff Meets Butterfield, you won't be sorry. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply.