A Very Fine Fellow Passed Away This Weekend

On Friday, actually. I was delighted to be able to number Larry and his lovely wife Peggy among my friends here. Not in the “go out together/live at each other’s place” type of friends, but the easy kind of friends you have. Where it seems like you’ve know each other forever, see one another on the porch of a business, or the post office, say “Hi!”, hug (MEAN it) and sit a spell. Know all the questions to ask to catch up on family, life and enjoy the conversation.

Larry was another of those local Pensacola prodigies I’m always marveling about. We first met when I was delivering my glasses to a business in Orange Beach, Alabama. Killing time waiting for the owner, I struck up a conversation with the genial, bearded gent in the Hawaiian shirt sprawled in an hot turquoise Adirondack chair on Tootie Green’s porch. Things went from there, since Peggy was a dear friend of said owner and wound up helping out there a lot. The CD’s Larry was recording in his home studio were selling like hotcakes at Tootie’s and he would have signing sessions on weekends. For his birthday one year, I even did him up a big, fat wine glass covered with everything imaginable music-wise ~ from clefs to notes, staffs and codas. I think I even threw in a “maestro” for good measure.

And in all honesty, that was before…well, here’s the wonderful thing about Larry Butler. I “knew” Larry, but Larry never made sure you knew “who” he was. I only knew he played a mean piano when I made his birthday goblet, vaguely recognized he was a local luminary and I’d known him for a couple years. He was sweet Larry on the porch I always looked forward to seeing.

Imagine my surprise when I heard he also wrote songs. You might have heard of this one ~ it won a Grammy.

But he didn’t just play piano and write songs. He produced albums for other guys. You might have heard of one of these, too.

Matter of fact, in 1979 he won a Grammy Award for Producer of the Year, the only Nashville producer to ever win the award.

But you would have never known he had this “other” life until he started to tell stories, and then you’d wonder, “Where on EARTH…?”, like I did the first time I was at the edge of a Butler story circle on the porch. Mesmerizing. And entertaining as HELL.

Oh, God bless him. What a doll.

The Grinch has several of Larry’s CD’s that he was kind enough to autograph for him ~ I haven’t broken the news to him yet. major dad had to stop by the Community Center to drop off the card for Peggy and Schanda for me, since I had to work. He said the place was packed. I knew it would be.

Larry made real friends.

4 Responses to “A Very Fine Fellow Passed Away This Weekend”

  1. Mr. Bingley says:

    RIP. sounds like he was a real great fellow.

  2. tree hugging sister says:

    Aw, heck yeah. He did so much for aspiring singers and groups in the area as well. You can get a great sense of him if you watch a couple minutes of this WSRE interview. That’s Larry.

  3. Dan Collins says:

    Sounds like he died a rich, rich man, whether he had money or not.

  4. nightfly says:

    Greater than having a precious gift, is having used it in such a manner. Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord.

Image | WordPress Themes