Kenny Buttrey PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 24 October 2012 13:53


Kenny ButtreyAaron Kenneth Buttrey

Born: April 1, 1945, Nashville, Tennessee,

Died: September 12, 2004, Bellevue, Tennessee

Age: 59

Cause of death" Cancer

Notable because: One of the most influential recording drummers who appeared on many seminal American recordings including 'Lay Lady Lay' and 'Heart of Gold'.

Kenny Buttrey was an American drummer and arranger. According to CMT, he was "one of the most influential session musicians in Nashville history".

Buttrey was born in Nashville, Tennessee, became a professional musician at age 11 and went on his first world tour at the age of 14 with Chet Atkins. He first worked with Charlie McCoy, and went on to play with two of his own groups, Barefoot Jerry and Area Code 615. Area Code 615 was best known for its song "Stone Fox Chase," which was the theme song for the BBC music programme The Old Grey Whistle Test in the 1970s.

Kenny ButtreyHowever, he was best known as a session player, and worked with a number of well-known musicians. His best-known work was with Bob Dylan, Neil Young, and Jimmy Buffett.

He appears on Dylan's Blonde on Blonde, Nashville Skyline, and John Wesley Harding albums; Young's albums Tonight's the Night, Harvest, and Harvest Moon; and Buffett's Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes (including the iconic "Margaritaville"). He also worked with J.J. Cale, Bob Seger, Gordon Lightfoot, Elvis Presley, Mickey Newbury, Donovan, George Harrison, Joan Baez, Dan Fogelberg and Kris Kristofferson.

In addition to studio work, Buttrey was a member of Neil Young's touring band, the Stray Gators. In 1972, he left the Stray Gators during their tour, saying all the fan attention was too much. Johnny Barbata replaced Buttrey in mid-tour. Buttrey also played in the group Rig. In 1979, Buttrey provided the drumming for Chuck Berry's latest studio album Rock It. Also in 1979, Kenny played drums on contemporary Christian singer Don Francisco's "Got to Tell Somebody" album.

He was quoted as saying he is most proud of his drumming on Bob Dylan's "Lay Lady Lay", released on Nashville Skyline.

Buttrey died of cancer in Nashville on September 12, 2004.

The Guitar Behind: Sly Stone, Bobby Freeman, Bob Mitchel, Tom Donahue, Bob Dylan, Lester Flatt, Earl Scruggs, Kenny Buttrey, Roland White, Josh Graves, ... The Gift (Tin Luck series - single Book 2)

Author: Ron Cornelius
Manufacturer: Gateway Entertainment Inc

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Editorial Review: Chapter two, The Guitar Behind Dylan & Cohen


For many years, over, and over, people have told me that I should write a book about my life experiences in the music industry. Never gave that much thought until, at a point in time, the concept of individual “short-stories” came to mind. To write a book that’s not a “tell-all” but one of true experiences that could appeal to music lovers and fans the world over. A book for people interested in knowing what it would be like to run in the fast lane as a guitar player.

To record with Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Johnny Cash, Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs, Charlie Daniels, Willie Nelson, Hoyt Axton, Louden Wainwright and on and on. To take the stage of sold out venues like The Royal Albert Hall in London, The Vienna Opera House, The Olympia Theater in Paris, or Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen. To be part of a headline act at big concerts with thousands in attendance—and even the ultimate challenges like The Isle Of White with over 600,000 people in the audience.

But more over, and especially in my case, it’s the life events that have gone on around all of this that can be unbelievable—unbelievable, but absolutely true.

The title of this book, “The Guitar Behind Dylan and Cohen,” was the title of a two-page newspaper article that was written about me. I chose to use it because the stories (in this book) take place during the portion of my career at which time I was simultaneously recording albums with Bob Dylan and recording albums and touring with Leonard Cohen.

Most of the people in this book are known to be, and recognized as, great songwriters as well as being artists. However, Cohen and Dylan, and their use of music as a way to speak to the masses are a very different world. Being part of all that led me in and out of some of the dambdest situations imaginable.

As I share these stories with you, and as you read, put yourself in my shoes and let yourself become … the guitar behind Dylan and Cohen.


Nashville Skyline

Manufacturer: Columbia
Offers - Buy New From: $207.98 Used From: $5.59
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Editorial Review: This album is one that features some other big stars adding to Dylans artistry. On this album Johnny Cash, Charlie Daniels, Charlie McCoy, Pete Drake and others. This particular edition is the KCS 9825 version that came out in 1969 and is quite a lot more collectible and valuable than some of the other versions.


Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 October 2012 14:05

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