The Paul Butterfield Blues Band

  • Year:
  • Inducted by:
    Peter Wolf
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The Paul Butterfield Blues Band rocketed the blues straight into the stratosphere.

One of the first integrated blues bands with mass appeal, the Paul Butterfield Blues Band inspired people of all kinds to sing the blues. They pounced on the music and took no prisoners.



Hall of Fame Essay


Bill Bentley

They came roaring out of Chicago, playing electric blues that seemed plugged into the cosmos.

Grounded by the music of their South Side heroes - Muddy Waters, Little Walter, Elmore James, and others - the Paul Butterfield Blues Band changed rock & roll as surely as any band in mid-sixties America. They did it with a combination of street-smart swagger, an endless well of feeling, and, maybe most strikingly, an impossibly energetic attack on the soul.

The group, originally composed of Paul Butterfield, Michael Bloom- field, Elvin Bishop, Sam Lay (later replaced by Billy Davenport), Mark Naftalin, and Jerome Arnold, made true blues accessible to the growing youth counterculture, and in the process opened up the possibilities for what rock & roll could really be.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony Program Cover 2015
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Archival Paul Butterfield Blues Band Image
you can hear the South Side Chicago sound inside them.
Peter Wolf

Photography: Michael Zorn