Saturday, September 1, 2007

Ronnie Butler - Classic Entertainer

Ronnie Butler loved music from his early childhood. He started out playing the maracas at the age of sixteen with a neighbor from Trinidad by the name of Alexander who played the Hawaiian guitar and Nattie, one of the premier conga drummers in The Bahamas. His job as a construction worker did not get in the way of him taking his first job playing music at the Carlton House Hotel on East Street. This all started though with them getting together in the evenings after work and just practising. Two months or so later, Alexander secured the job for them.

From nine to five o'clock during the day, Ronnie would work on construction sites, and then play music from seven to ten in the evening. This job, however, lasted only about two months. Following that, they were hired by the Buena Vista and remained there for four months after which he went on to work with Eric Gibson of "King Eric & His Knights" in 1958.

Ronnie further developed his musical talents while working with King Eric and according to King, he became one of his most outstanding sidemen, “always on time, always properly dressed, just a good man to work with”. They would work in clubs like "The Skylark Club", Captain Kidd", and "The Bar Mar".

In 1962, it seemed inevitable that Ronnie was destined to lead his own band, and so he formed "Ronnie & The Ramblers", consisting of Charlie Dean - drums, Sidney Darling - bass, and Carl "Flash" Rodgers - guitar. They became a household name for some seventeen years thereafter. Their first job was at "The Big Bamboo" club, and subsequently they performed at the British Colonial, and at "Rum Keg" at the Nassau Beach Hotel.

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