My main man for many years... not only a great attack and tone but a very lyrical player... Its almost impossible to play on a Louis Prima song without playing the solo the way Sam did..... they're so memorable....
I remember when I started playing sax in 56 there were a lot of movies about the rock & roll groups that featured the Top 40 bands and singers. I went to a double feature and saw Sam Butera and Prima in the second movie. I had never seen or heard of the Prima's band or Sam Butera. I was very familiar with Lee Allen, Herb Hardesty and Grady Gaines although I did not know the names at that time.
When Butera started playing his solos along with his stage action I was caught up in the energy! I had never seen anything like it. Still listen to his music to this day.
You were about ten years ahead of me in starting to listen to sax players - I was about 55 years behind you in finding Sam Butera!
Funny how these things go in cycles - my youngest son (now 23) has been a Tom Lehrer fan since he was about 12 - something like the same age I got into him - and he saw Bo Diddley a couple of years ago in Australia (Byron Bay Blues Festival) and I saw Bo when I was about 14 in Cheltenham, Glos. in a package show with the Everley Brothers and Duane Eddy - which is what turned me on to Jim Horn.
Shame on me but i'd never heard of Sam Butera until this thread so iv'e been listening to some of his music all morning/noon and i'm hooked
Youtube is a great source and found this fan of Butera you have probably seen it but for those that haven't (like me) check it out http://www.youtube.com/user/sambuterafan?feature=results_main
ps. Isn't it great to hear the little crackles on the deck
Don't beat yourself up Trimmy - I had only came across him a few weeks ago on YouTube with Louis Prima because I was trying to track down all the versions I could find of Night Train. Now, like you, I'm hooked!
Garage bands, pizza parties, proms and drive-ins" - not in the Forest of Dean in the early 60s! I don't think I saw
a pizza until I was in my twenties!
But - the Law of Unintended Consequences - local authorities wouldn't allow cinemas to show movies on a Sunday, so we got the package shows. So, apart from the acts mentioned, I saw the Stones, Little Richard and few others I don't recall now. The downside of course was that they could only do three or so songs each.