Billy Butterfield (14 January 1917 – 18 March 1988) was a band leader, jazz trumpeter, flugelhornist and cornetist.
Butterfield was a versatile pre-bop trumpeter who could play beautiful ballads and heated Dixieland with equal skill.
He began his career in the mid-1930s in the bands of Austin Wylie and Andy Anderson, before gaining fame with Bob Crosby’s Orchestra. There, he took the main solo on the original version of ‘What’s New’ and made numerous records with both the big band and the Bobcats.
In 1940, he joined Artie Shaw’s band, playing on the Gramercy Five sessions and taking a classic solo on the ballad ‘Stardust’.
Later that decade, after stints with Benny Goodman and Les Brown, Butterfield spent time in the army and then led his own big band.
In the 1950s and 1960s, he worked mainly in the studio, recording albums with his own orchestra and two with Ray Conniff – Conniff meets Butterfield and Just Kiddin’ Around.
In 1968 to 1972, Butterfield was a member of the World’s Greatest Jazz Band, led by Yank Lawson and Bob Haggart. He also freelanced as a guest star with many bands all over the world and performed at many jazz festivals.
In this recording Butterfield plays ‘Stardust’, accompanied by strings.