Clarence and Curtis Butler were born seconds
apart, in Killen, and grew up in nearby Florence,
Alabama. Their father, Willie "Butch" Butler,
was noteworthy as a local guitar player, and
with his harmonica playing partner, Raymond
Edwards, both proved useful tutors. By the
age of seven the twins were proficient enough
musicians to win a talent contest, and played
in the abandoned house where W. C.
Handy once lived. They were in the middle of a family
of sixteen siblings, and the twins put together
their first musical ensemble at the age of
14, and two years later started to tour the Southern United States.
They relocated to Detroit in 1960 and worked
in automobile assembly plants. By night they
were part of the local nightclub scene. Clarence
Butler supplied harmonica and vocals, while
Curtis Butler played rhythm guitar, and they sat in with other musicians, until the local
blues scene faded away in the late 1960s. In the early 1980s, with the Butler Twins
still in residence, they were lauded as blues survivors.
JSP Records, based in London, issued two albums
by the Butler Twins: Not Gonna Worry About
Tomorrow (May 1995) and Pursue Your Dreams
(May 1996). The relative success led to tours
across the United States, Canada and Europe.
The Twins, as they became known among blues
fans, became more famous overseas than in their own country.
In 2000, the Detroit Music
Awards gave the Outstanding Blues Writer award to Clarence Butler.
The Butler Twins were granted Music Achiever
status by the Alabama Music Hall of Fame.
Clarence Butler died after a heart attack on December 22, 2003, in Hamtramck, Michigan.
Curtis Butler died just over three months later, on April 9, 2004