He truly was a Nashville Cat. Larry Butler wasn’t a great singer and never had his own hit records but he was a great piano player, songwriter and record producer.
My brothers and I knew him as a piano player many years ago (yep, this is another post about my young Country Music life). We met him at our first recording session. Don’t ask me the year, because I don’t remember. I’m guessing the mid 1960’s.
What I do remember is that this was in the recording studio at Cedarwood Publishing on Music Row in Nashville and it was late at night—something like one o’clock in the morning. My brothers and I had never stayed up that late before.
We recorded four songs and as the sun was coming up, finally the recording session was over. We were tired little boys.
Larry Butler played piano on the session, led the arrangements—all that. You might as well say he was the producer of the session as the actual one didn’t seem all that interested, or at least that’s what I remember.
I wish I still had that picture my mother took of Larry standing by the piano and smiling. He was as nice as he could be.
The clip down below gives you some of his history as he talks about just one of the great songs he helped write. If you’re an older person like me, I think you’ll remember it and if you’re younger, you still might know it. Oldie radio stations play it all the time.
If there’s a special heaven for Nashville Cats, Larry’s there playing piano or writing songs or producing records. Hell, it’s probably all of the above.
(Photo from boston.com)