THE BUTLER TWINS
Instruments: Harmonica, Vocals
January 21, 1942 - December 22, 2003
Place of Birth: Florence, Alabama
January 21, 1942 - April 9, 2004
Place of Birth: Florence, Alabama
Clarence and Curtis Butler, sons of an Alabama sharecropper, were born seconds apart on January 21, 1942 (in the middle of a family of 16), in Florence, Alabama. Their father, Willie "Butch" Butler, sang and played guitar while partner Raymond Edwards played harp. The boys would grow to idolize their father and try and imitate the blues he and Edwards played. They were both were taught how to tune and play guitar and by age 7 the twins won a talent contest at the W.C. Handy Elementary School and played in the abandoned house where Handy once lived.
By the early 1950's, they were forming bands, and by age 16, touring the mid-South.
They moved to Detroit years later, straying from their music in search of steadier work and regular pay checks. The music finally came back together in the early 1970s. With Clarence on harmonica and vocals and Curtis on guitar the Butler Twins have played several thousand performances in the Detroit clubs and earned a reputation for playing some powerful blues.
Source: Alabama Music Hall of Fame
The Butler Twins were an American Detroit blues and electric blues duo, comprising the twins Clarence (January 21, 1942 – December 22, 2003) and Curtis Butler (January 21, 1942 – April 9, 2004). Long time, semi-professional performers in the local blues scene in Detroit, they gained international recognition following the recording of three albums in the late 1990s. Their best known track was "The Butler's Boogie."
Clarence and Curtis Butler were born seconds apart, and grew up in Florence, Alabama. Their father, Willie "Butch" Butler, was noteworthy as a local guitar player, and with his harmonica playing partner, Raymond Edwards, both proved useful tutors. By the age of seven the twins were proficient enough musicians to win a talent contest, and played in the abandoned house where W. C. Handy once lived. They were in the middle of a family of sixteen siblings, and the twins put together their first musical ensemble at the age of 14, and two years later started to tour the Southern United States.
They relocated to Detroit in 1960, and worked in automobile assembly plants. By night they were part of the local nightclub scene. Clarence Butler supplied harmonica and vocals, while Curtis Butler played rhythm guitar, and they sat in with other musicians, until the local blues scene faded away in the late 1960s. In the early 1980s, with the Butler Twins still in residence, they were lauded as blues survivors.
The London, England, based JSP Records label issued two albums; Not Gonna Worry About Tomorrow (May 1995) and Pursue Your Dreams (May 1996). The relative success led to tours across the US, Canada and Europe. The Twins, as they became referred to in the blues community, became more famous overseas than in their own country. In 2000, the Detroit Music Awards gave the Outstanding Blues Writer award to Clarence Butler.
The Butler Twins were granted Music Achiever status by the Alabama Music Hall of Fame.
Clarence Butler died after a heart attack on December 22, 2003, in Hamtramck, Michigan. Curtis Butler died just over three months later on April 9, 2004.
Not Gonna Worry About Tomorrow (1995) - JSP
Pursue Your Dreams (1996) - JSP
The Butler's Boogie (2000) - live album - Orchard
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More info: http://www.mnblues.com/profile/bio_butlertwins.html