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George "Wild Child" Butler

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Biography

From all accounts, George Butler was indeed a "wild child." But he found time between the youthful shenanigans that inspired his mom to bestow his descriptive nickname to learn some harp basics at age 12. He was gigging professionally as a bandleader by the late '50s, but Butler's recording career didn't blossom until he moved to Chicago in 1966 and signed with Shreveport, LA-based Jewel Records (his sidemen on these sessions included bassist Willie Dixon and guitarist Jimmy Dawkins).

The harpist didn't have much luck in the recording wars: his 1969 Mercury album sank with little trace, while a 1976 LP for T.K., Funky Butt Lover, did equally little for his fortunes (it was later reissued in slightly altered form on Rooster Blues as Lickin' Gravy). Around 1981, Butler moved up north to Ontario, Canada, and continued his career. A decade later, he cut the first of two albums for British producer Mike Vernon; These Mean Old Blues was an engaging set of original material cut in London. Stranger, the fruits of another English session, emerged in 1994.

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