Guitarist Billy Butler (1924-1991) remains best known for his dual role as soloist on and co-composer of one of the most popular R&B-to-pop crossover records of all time, "Honky Tonk," by organist Bill Doggett's quartet. Butler's deft solo and singing sound on the 1956-57 smash hit (13 weeks at number one on the R&B charts; number two on the pop side) were studied closely by a generation of rock and blues guitar players, but the 14 prime cuts herein, from 1969-70, show that his considerable talent ranged well beyond rhythm and blues. Performing on electric and unamplified guitars, plus bass guitar, Butler essays a swing era classic ("Seven Come Eleven"), New Orleans second-line funk ("Blow for the Crossing," an original), and standards like "Golden Earrings" (hauntingly rendered on classical guitar). There's also a lively update of "Honky Tonk." He's backed by a host of his fellow first-call New York studio and jazz pros.
with Everett Barksdale, Bob Bushnell, Ernie Hayes, Jimmy Johnson, Jimmy Lewis, Houston Person, Sonny Phillips, Seldon Powell, Specs Powell, Chuck Rainey, Jerome Richardson, Bill Suyker