"Watch Sam Butera & The Lotito's Perform at
Carlos O'brian's" The show was filmed At the
Lotito's Carlos O'brians in 1980. The first of
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Sam Butera /
was born on August 17, 1927 in New Orleans,
his father, Joe, ran Poor Boy's Grocery & Meat
Market. His mother's name was Rose and he had
a brother, Joe, Jr. Sam always loved music and at a
young age, was given a saxophone by his
father. At the age of eighteen, in a contest
held at Carnegie Hall in New York City, Sam was
voted the Outstanding Teenage Musician in
America by Look Magazine.
graduation, he went on the road with Ray McKinley,
with whom he made his recording debut on McKinley's
versions of "Civilization" and "Celery Stalks
At Midnight". After stints with various bands
including Tommy Dorsey, Joe Richman, and Al Hirt,
Sam returned home. Once home, Sam played at
Leon Prima's 500 Club, where he and his five-piece
band backed bad comics and strippers.
spare time, Sam jammed with the band of one of his
father's customers, Paul Gayten, who had one of the
top bands in the city. In 1951 a recording
was made of Sam with Paul for Regal records.
Eventually, Sam formed his own group and produced
such hits as "Easy Rockin'" and "Chicken Scratch"
for RCA Victor.
Louis Prima was looking for his Vegas band, his
brother reminded him of Sam. In 1954 Sam joined
Louis Prima and Keely Smith in Las Vegas, and the
rest is musical history. Together they
recorded several albums, appeared on many T.V.
shows, starred in several movies and broke
attendance records in every showroom and lounge in
recorded for Cadence under his own name and, after
the Capitol signing, for subsidiary label Prep as
Sam Butera & The Witnesses. The group was also
given billing on all Prima recordings.
appeared with Frank Sinatra across America from
Caesars Palace in Las Vegas to the Latin Casino in
Philadelphia. The two recorded the song
"Stargazer", which was written by Neil Diamond and
was released through Reprise Records.
also appeared with Danny Thomas, Jerry Vale, Sergio
Franchi, Jimmy Roselli, and Sammy Davis, Jr. with
whom he recorded an album "Sam Meets Sam, When The
Feeling Hits You".
3, 1998 the Augustus Society gave Sam the "Life
Time Achievement" and the "Entertainer of the Year"
awards. In 1999 the Tropicana Casino and
Hotel inducted Sam Butera into the "Las Vegas Hall
day Sam is still packing them in and blowing them
away in major showrooms and lounges around the
world and at home in Las Vegas. A Sam Butera
performance is an event not to be missed.- "I'm
Just A Gigolo"
03 / Sam
Butera Band Members - 1980
DiRe, trumpet, tenor and alto saxes and baritone
saxaphonist; Buck Menari, trumpet & formely
lead horn with Elvis Presley; Arnie Tech, pianist;
Jim James (Jimbo), trumpeter and trombonist; Bob
Sachs, bassist; Chuck Stevens, drummer (brother of
Butera is renowned as one of the most impeccable
players of the tenor sax of this or any other
musical era. Sam, with his distinctive sax
playing and his powerful "pointed" vocals, has
thrilled millions via performances from Las Vegas'
major showrooms to the famed Copacabana in New York
City. If you own any of his recordings, or
have seen his television, and motion picture
appearances, this segment of the "R&B Plus" TV
series Directed by Troy Cory - 1980. It is a must
to see . . . Sam is at his best. TVI
ABOUT SAM - Film Credits
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