Jerry Butler Biography
Jerry Butler is an American singer-songwriter, producer, musician, and retired politician. He was the original lead singer of the Impressions, an R&B vocal group inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1991. Butler earned over 55 Billboard Pop and R&B Chart hits as a solo singer after quitting the trio in 1960, including “He Will Break Your Heart,” “Let It Be Me,” and “Only the Strong Survive.” In 2015, he was inducted into the National Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame.
From 1985 to 2018, he was a Cook County Commissioner in Illinois. He chaired the Health and Hospitals Committee and was Vice Chair of the Construction Committee while serving on this 17-member county board.
Butler was born in 1939 in Sunflower, Mississippi, USA. Butler’s family relocated to Chicago, Illinois, when he was three years old, and he grew up in the Cabrini-Green housing projects. Butler’s life was drastically altered in the mid-1950s. He sang in a church choir alongside Curtis Mayfield. Butler and Mayfield were members of the Northern Jubilee Gospel Singers when they were teenagers. Mayfield, a guitarist, was the only member of the six-member Roosters band, which later became The Impressions. Having been inspired by Sam Cooke and the Soul Stirrers, the Five Blind Boys of Mississippi, and the Pilgrim Travelers, a career in music seemed unavoidable.
Billy Butler, Butler’s younger brother, also worked in the music industry, including playing guitar with Jerry’s band until his death in 2015. Butler wanted to make a CD after co-writing the song “For Your Precious Love,” which is placed 327 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. The Impressions (initial members Butler, Curtis Mayfield, Sam Gooden, Fred Cash – who departed early on and subsequently returned – and brothers Arthur and Richard Brooks) auditioned for Chess Records and Vee-Jay Records while looking for recording studios. In 1958, the trio signed with Vee-Jay and released “For Your Precious Love.” It was The Impressions’ first hit and went gold.
Butler continued to excel while serving as a Cook County Board Commissioner before retiring in 2018. Butler voted to preserve a historic 2008 Cook County sales tax increase, which remains the highest in the country, as a Cook County Commissioner. As a result, the Chicago Tribune advised readers to vote against him in the 2010 elections. Butler, on the other hand, was re-elected in March 2014 with more than 80% of the vote.
In recent years, he has hosted several PBS TV music programmes, including Doo Wop 50 and 51, Rock Rhythm and Doo Wop, and Soul Spectacular: 40 Years of R&B. He has also served as chairman of the Rhythm and Blues Foundation’s board of directors. Butler was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1991, along with the other founding members of the Impressions (Curtis Mayfield, Sam Gooden, Fred Cash, and Arthur and Richard Brooks). Butler’s debut album, Time & Faith, was released in 1992.
On their 2000 album Veni Vidi Vicious, The Hives covered “Find Another Girl.” On their 2010 album Brothers, The Black Keys covered “Never Give You Up.” He is currently based in Chicago. Annette, who was originally one of his backing vocalists, died in 2019.
Since his induction as a member of the Impressions into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1991, music writers and critics have suggested that Butler also deserved a second induction as a solo artist, based on his outstanding career as a recording artist and songwriter after leaving the group.
Jerry Butler Discography
|I’m a Telling You|
|Find Another Girl|
|He Will Break Your Heart|
|A Lonely Soldier|
|I Was Wrong|
|Come Back My Love|
|For Your Precious Love|
Frequently Asked Questions
Jerry Butler, Jr. (born December 21, 1947) is an American soul singer-songwriter, producer and musician. He is best known for his hits “For Your Precious Love” (1958), “He Will Break Your Heart” (1960), and “Never Gonna Give You Up” (1979).
What Was Jerry Butler’S First Album?
Jerry Butler’s first album was “The Soul of Jerry Butler”, which was released in 1958. This album included the hit single “For Your Precious Love”, which reached number one on the R&B charts.
What Songs Did Jerry Butler Sing With The Impressions?
Some of the songs that Jerry Butler sang with the impressions were “For Your Precious Love,” “He Will Break Your Heart,” “I’m a Teller of Tales,” and “Moon River.
What Was Jerry Butler’S Biggest Hit?
I Can’t Stand to Lose You was Jerry Butler’s biggest hit. It peaked at number five on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1968.
What Is Jerry Butler’S Most Famous Song?
Jerry Butler’s most famous song is “For Your Precious Love.” The song was originally recorded by Butler’s group, the Impressions, in 1958. The song became a hit when it was re-released in 1968.