Larry Butler’s family roots are strong and deep in the heart of Texas,
born and raised in Belton, Texas.
It was there that he began his life-long love affair with country and western music,
and his idol even to this day, Hank Williams. In fact, Larry in every performance
Larry does, he always manages to sing a tune or two by Hank.
One of Larry's best childhood memories as a youth is when his father traded a cedar post
for a ten-dollar guitar and gave it to him. That gift was the instrument
that helped him shape his destiny and give him the determination to fulfill a dream
to reach stardom in the evolving and emerging field of country and western music.
Larry is a tall man with a large frame; the hair may now have turned to silver,
but all his legions of friends know that he stands even taller in the far-flung fields
of the music industry. He is known to have a heart of gold, quick to reach out
and help other struggling artists in their quest to find the road to success.
Let's recall one such event that happened long ago. He and his band were rehearsing
at the Esquire Club in Houston Texas. A young man came in the club and asked for a job
with the band. He also tried to sell Larry some of his songs for ten dollars apiece.
Larry told him that his songs were too good and to keep them. Larry loaned him some
money and gave him a job in the band. That young man was none other than Willie Nelson.
Willie and Larry still remain the best of friends today and visit often.
About 1962 or so, Larry's release on Allstar records of "What Right Have I" and
"Love Me" were both written or co-written by Willie.
When this tall Texan kicks back and lets his memories of all the years, the many
long roads’s traveled to personal appearances and all the many friends he has made
along the way, a broad smile easily crosses his bearded face.
Those memories span many perhaps seemingly turbulent decades, the fifties, sixties,
seventies and eighties; life seemed to be a non-stop merry-go round of nights spent
playing and singing in country music bars and clubs all over the country.
One memory may cause his face to light up most of all when he recalls one
the a night at Grant’s Rhythm Hall in Midland, Texas, where he
caught the eye of of a dark haired woman named Pat who later became his wife.
They have raised three daughters, Tammy, Tina and Teresa even while he was always on the road, which may not have
been easy for her. As of 2007, Larry and Pat have been married for forty-seven years.
They have been partners as well in his career, she handled the business end of his career so he could concentrate
on the musical aspects. It worked quite well for them. Larry would be the first to
tell anyone he could not have made it without this special person in his life.
It was during the fifties that the process of building him as a Texas Legend began.
From 1950 to 1952 he performed and worked in Temple and Belton Texas, with stars such
as Slim Willet, Tex Ritter, Leon Payne, Lefty Frizzell, Billy Walker, Charlie Adams,
Jimmy Heap, Jim Reeves, Johnny Horton, Ernest Tubb, Link Davis, Floyd Tillman,
Bob Wills, Kitty Wells, Charlie Walker, Billy Walker, Hank Thompson, Johnny and Jack,
Hawkshaw Harkins, Patsy Cline and Bill Mack.
From 1953 to 1956, he worked at radio station KPEP in San Angelo, Texas and and at TV
1957 was another busy year for Larry where he was in Houston, appearing at the Esquire
Ballroom, Cook’s Hoedown, Magnolia Gardens, and the Texas Ballroom.
Larry spent 1961 in Waco, Texas and touring central Texas, working a gun act
and show. He also worked service clubs and night clubs; worked with Clue Gallagher
in Dallas at the State Fair.
He Opened Dance Town USA in Houston, Texas in 1962, where he booked
Willie Nelson, George Jones, Loretta Lynn, Charley Pride, Webb Pierce, Faron Young,
Johnny Paycheck, Nita Lynn and many, many more great Country Stars, and all were backed
by Larry Butler’s band.
In the late sixties, Larry moved to Conroe, Texas where he brought a club on
highway 105 East called the 21 Club, which later named it Pat’s Longhorn Ballroom.
Pat booked the biggest and greatest Stars of yesterday and today at
her ballroom. Bob Wills, Willie Nelson, Jack Greene, Jenny Sealy, Johnny Paycheck,
Ernest Tubb, Charley Pride, Gary Stewart, Little Jimmy Dickens, Ray Price, and many,
His hard work, persistence and devotion to country and western music has paid off
for him in many ways, and he still remains active in his life’s work with music.
Along the way, he has enjoyed the dozens of singles and albums to
his credit. Larry has had #1 hit on the charts. Larry has performed on the
Grand Ole Opry and the Louisiana Hayride.
Larry's career highlights include appearing in movies such as the “Honeysuckle Rose”,
“Another Pair of Roses”, “Only the Dead Are Free”, “Asylum of the Scorpion”,
and has been asked to do “The Life and Times of Ben Johnson”, and a movie
in the making called, “Jakes”.
Larry keeps on pursuing his dreams while accolades and recognition keeps coming his way.
Among those credits is a Texas Senate Proclamation expressing its esteem for
Larry’s contributions to country and western music and a letter from former Governor
Ann Richards and Senator Don Henderson, recognizing his many contributions to
country music and to the State of Texas.
Even today, fifty years after he began his musica journey,
whenever there are the sounds of a haunting wail of a fiddle,
the throbbing beat of the drums, the strumming and picking of guitars,
the tinkling of a piano, and melodic voices singing country and western songs,
you can bet Larry probably won’t be far away.
Credits & Sources
- Hillbilly-music.com wishes to express its appreciation to Nita Lynn,
good friend of Larry Butler for contacting us and helping us begin to document
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