DIARY - 14 SEPTEMBER 2004 - KENNY BUTTREY RIP
BUTTREY RIP @ 59
CANCER VICTIM OF AREA CODE 615
Kenny Buttrey - one of the session celebrants of the sixties country rock
nuptials in Nashville - has died at 59.
- a founding member of seminal progressive country bands Area Code
615 and Barefoot Jerry - succumbed to cancer on Sunday September
12 at his Music City home.
Kenny played in those bands with a hard core of fellow session supremos
whose talents embroidered a hit tableau that has stood the test
He began his career with the Nashville band, Charlie McCoy and the
Escorts, a staple in Printers Alley - the embryonic down town night
Area Code 615 Cover
in Area Code 615 included McCoy, Mac Gayden, Wayne Moss, Weldon Myrick,
Buddy Spicher, Bobby Thompson and David Briggs.
Area Code 615 took its name from the Nashville phone code and recorded
its self-titled debut in 1969 and Trip In The Country in 1970.
They were re-released in 1974 as a double vinyl disc.
Area Code 615 played in public only twice - at San Francisco's Fillmore
West and on Johnny Cash's ABC-TV series.
The group's Stone Fox Chase harmonica instrumental was adopted as the
theme for BBC-TV's Old Grey Whistle Test in the 1970s.
was a member of Barefooot Jerry when it released Southern Delight
- the first of its seven albums - in 1971.
Barefoot Jerry was popular in Japan and Europe and once played 31
straight sold-out concerts at Paris' Olympia Theatre.
It also featured in famed 1976 documentary Heartworn Highways,
released on DVD here by Shock Records, with guests diverse as David
Allan Coe, Guy Clark, Steve Young, John Hiatt, Larry Jon Wilson, Charlie
Daniels, Richard Dobson and the late Townes Van Zandt.
DYLAN AND BUFFETT TO NEIL YOUNG
a drummer Buttrey was unique - he was the band arranger on sessions
with artists diverse as Bob Dylan, Neil Young and Jimmy Buffett.
He played on classic songs ranging from Dylan's All Along The
Watchtower, Young's Tonight's The Night to Buffett's
smash hit Margaritaville.
Buttrey also earned acclaim for his work on Harvest and After
The Goldrush with the Canadian legend Young with whom he toured
Australian on earlier sojourns.
included Ben Keith (pedal steel), Tim Drummond (bass), Jack Nitzsche (piano)
and Danny Whitten (guitar and vocals).
Buttrey played on Dylan discs Blonde on Blonde, Nashville Skyline,
John Wesley Harding and Self-Portrait as well as accompanying
Dylan on the Johnny Cash Show on TV in 1969.
also featured on at least three albums by unsung Dylan protégé
Eric Andersen - Blue River, A Country Dream and a self-titled
But Buttrey was better known for many Buffett discs including Changes
in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes (which featured Margaritaville)
and Linda Ronstadt's Silk Purse.
He also played on major albums by Bob Seger, Dan Fogleberg, Buffy
Sainte-Marie, Donovan, J.J. Cale, Joan Baez, Kris Kristofferson, the
Everly Brothers, Ramblin' Jack Elliott, the Beau Brummels and John
include the late Elvis Presley, Steve Goodman and George Harrison.
"All of the guys, Pete Wade on Dobro and rhythm guitar, and of course
Kenny Buttrey, added something to my album that really hasn't been heard
since," Ken Lauber told CMT columnist Chet Flippo in Nashville.
"A kind of arranged jam-type backup, which later became the Area
Code 615 format.
Buttrey really did most of the arranging right from the drums. He always
did that on sessions. Probably the only real band leader-arranger, as
a drummer, that Nashville ever knew. Those were the real good times in
Nashville. Kristofferson, Baez, Neil Young, Mickey Newbury, Jerry Jeff
Walker all cutting week after week with this great bunch of musicians
who could catch bass (the fish) as well as they could play music. There's
never been a studio band out of Nashville that has had as many hits, with
such a diverse list of artists to their credit."
Buttrey's wishes were to be cremated, according to his wife Cheri, who
helped organise a memorial service.
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