Joe Butler

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Joe Butler
Butler, 1967
Joseph Campbell Butler

(1941-09-16) September 16, 1941 (age 82)
Occupation(s)Musician, Actor
SpouseKim Ablondi
ChildrenYancy Butler
Musical career
GenresRock, psychedelic rock, pop
Occupation(s)Musician, actor
Instrument(s)Vocals, drums, autoharp, percussion
Years active1964 – present
LabelsKama Sutra

Joseph Campbell Butler (born September 16, 1941) is an American drummer and stage actor. He is a member of the Lovin' Spoonful, who had seven top 10 hits between 1965 and 1966.[1]

Early life[edit]

Joe Butler was born on September 16, 1941, in Long Island, New York. He began playing drums at age 10 and started playing professionally at 13.[2] Butler was in the Air Force until 1963. While in the air force, he met Steve Boone and his brother Skip. Butler, Skip and Steve would form a group called The Kingsmen (not to be confused with another band also with the same name).[2]

The Lovin' Spoonful[edit]

Joe Butler and the Lovin Spoonful 2011

Butler was a principal member of the pop rock band the Lovin' Spoonful, founded by John Sebastian and Zal Yanovsky in 1965. Drummer Jan Carl was replaced by Joe after their first gig at the Night Owl in Greenwich Village. Eventually, Steve Boone joined the group and they later signed with Kama Sutra Records. The Lovin' Spoonful's most well known hits are "Do You Believe in Magic", "Summer In The City" and "Darling Be Home Soon".

While with the Lovin' Spoonful, Butler was given the lead vocals on the songs "You Baby", "Full Measure", "Never Going Back", "Only Pretty, What A Pity" and "Me About You".

After Sebastian left the band, Butler became the lead vocalist for their last album, Revelation: Revolution '69.

Butler was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the Lovin' Spoonful in 2000[3][4] and performed with the original line-up for the last time. Since its reforming in 1991, Joe has continued to perform with founding member Steve Boone in and has retained his position as lead vocalist. He also plays the guitar, autoharp and percussion instruments.


He also was in the 1971 rock opera Soon. Butler currently plays with several musical ensembles. He replaced the author James Rado in the leading role of Claude, joining the original Broadway cast of Hair. Butler created the role of Alaska Wolf Joe for the off-Broadway production of the Brecht-Weill social opera the Rise and Fall of Mahogonny.

Butler is a founding member of the Circle Theatre Company. Alongside award-winning and renowned director Marshall W. Mason and Pulitzer prize winning playwright Lanford Wilson, Butler has written and directed numerous projects.

Personal life[edit]

Butler was married to Leslie Vega on September 2, 1967. He subsequently married Kim Ablondi. His daughter from his first marriage is actress Yancy Butler, star of the 1992 televisions series Mann & Machine and the 1993 series South Beach, as well as films Hard Target and Drop Zone.[5]


  1. ^ "Names". Detroit Free Press. January 24, 2003. Retrieved October 28, 2010. ... protection relating to her father Joseph Butler the drummer for the 1960s. band Lovin Spoonful While in custody on that charge Butler headbutted a ...
  2. ^ a b "Gary James' Interview With Joe Butler of The Lovin' Spoonful". Retrieved October 15, 2023.
  3. ^ "Lovin' Spoonful | Rock & Roll Hall of Fame". Retrieved August 22, 2022.
  4. ^ "Joe Butler & Steve Boone – The Lovin' Spoonful". Long Island Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame. Retrieved October 15, 2023.
  5. ^ "Yancy Butler". IMDb. Retrieved August 22, 2022.

External links[edit]