Billy Butterfield In His Own Words: "I guess though, that there was more opportunity for actual jazz playing with Crosby - it was such an interesting book to play, because sometimes the lead part would change around in the middle of an arrangement, and of course there were always the Bobcats. When Yank [ Lawson ] left the band I took over the trumpet in the Bobcats and we did some really nice records."
"I was with Shaw for about a year, until he broke the band up . . . I had some feature playing to do with Shaw, but with Benny, I was mostly on lead. Cootie Williams did most of the solo work, and of course all the sextet playing. I would get eight bars here and four bars there, but it was mostly slogging away."
"When I went into the studios later on, we used to take every chance we could to go ou and play jazz - lots of the guys did. There was very little jazz played in the studios."
Billy Butterfield (January 14, 1917 in Middleton, Ohio – March 18, 1988) was a band leader, jazz trumpeter, flugelhornist and cornetist.
He studied cornet with Frank Simons, but later switched to studying medicine. He did not give up on music and quit medicine after finding success as a trumpeter. Early in his career he played in the band of Austin Wylie. He gained attention working with Bob Crosby (1937–1940), and later worked with Artie Shaw, Les Brown, and Benny Goodman.
On October 7, 1940, during his brief stay with Artie Shaw's orchestra, he performed what has been described as a "legendary trumpet solo" on the hit song "Stardust." Between 1943 and 1947, taking a break to serve in Uncle Sam's army, Billy led his own orchestra. On September 20, 1944, Capitol recorded the jazz standard "Moonlight In Vermont", which featured a vocal by Margaret Whiting and a trumpet solo by Billy. The liner notes from the CD Capitol from the Vaults, Volume 2, "Vine Street Divas" indicate that, although Billy Butterfield & His Orchestra were credited with the song, it was really the Les Brown band recording under the name of Billy Butterfield because Brown was under contract to another label at the time.