Jerry Butler, Jr. was born on December 8, 1939 in Sunflower, Mississippi.
Growing up poor and living in Chicago’s Cabrini Green housing complex, Jerry and his friend Curtis Mayfield would establish the Impressions who performed in churches and on the street corners of Chicago’s Southside.
It was from this beginning that Jerry Butler in his late teens and the lead singer for the group, would establish not only himself as a future star, but the Impressions too when a song written by Butler, “For Your Precious Love” landed on both the R&B and Pop Hit Parade in the summer of 1958 and went gold.
Going out on his own as a solo artist, Butler would land in the top ten in the fall of 1960 with “He Will Break Your Heart.” “Moon River” would follow a year later and in the summer of 1962, *“Make It Easy on Yourself” kept his hit streak going.
At the peak of the British invasion sparked by the Beatles in1964, Jerry Butler was top five with his “Let It Be Me.” Another one of his 40 plus charted hits came in 1968 with his million selling, “Hey Western Union Man,” and in 1969 with still another gold record, a top five pop smash hit “Only the Strong Survive.”
Jerry Butler’s album successes “The Iceman Cometh” in 1968 and “Ice on Ice” in 1970 earned him three Grammy nominations. In 1991 he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the Impressions. As a solo vocalist in 2012 Jerry Butler was inducted into the Hit Parade Hall of Fame.
While continuing to perform to sold out audiences nationally, beginning in 1985, Jerry Butler moved into politics where he served the residents of Chicago as a commissioner in Cook County. He currently resides in Chicago with his wife, Annette, who is one of his backup singers on the road.