Soul singer Billy Butler dies at age 69

Billy Butler, known to many as the younger brother of the legendary "Ice Man" Jerry Butler, and to deep soul fans as a talented singer and guitarist, has died at age 69. Though sometimes in the shadow of his iconic older brother, Billy had a successful career both as a solo singer and group member. He formed the group The Enchanters in 1963 while still a high schooler. He immediately began working with some of the most important producers in the burgeoning Chicago soul scene, including Carl Davis and Curtis Mayfield. His sessions with Davis led to his biggest hit and career highpoint, the 1965 top 10 R&B hit "I Can't Work No Longer." 

Billy Butler, known to many as the younger brother of the legendary "Ice Man" Jerry Butler, and to deep soul fans as a talented singer and guitarist, has died at age 69. Though sometimes in the shadow of his iconic older brother, Billy had a successful career both as a solo singer and group member. He formed the group The Enchanters in 1963 while still a high schooler. He immediately began working with some of the most important producers in the burgeoning Chicago soul scene, including Carl Davis and Curtis Mayfield. His sessions with Davis led to his biggest hit and career highpoint, the 1965 top 10 R&B hit "I Can't Work No Longer." 

Butler continued to record with the Chanters (the subsequent name of the Enchanters) and then in the late 60s formed the group Infinity. Over the next few years he charted at lower levels with such songs as "Right Track," "I Don't Want to Lose You" and "Hung Up On You" before ending his active recording career in the late 70s. He weng on to write for other artists such as Major Lance and Gene Chandler, and then had a long career as music director and guitarist in his brother Jerry's band. You can see a full biography of Billy Butler here.

In a year that has already had more than its share of soul music deaths, Billy Butler's passing is another sad event for music fans around the world. Rest in peace.

 

 
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