Ballard, Butch [George Edward ]
[George Edward ]
(b Camden, NJ, Dec 26, 1917; d Philadelphia, PA, October 1, 2011). American drummer. He played with Fats Waller and performed and recorded with Cootie Williams (1942). After navy service he recorded with Williams and Louis Armstrong (both 1946), worked with Illinois Jacquet, and toured and recorded with Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis (1947–8). He joined Mercer Ellington (1948), then played and made recordings with Count Basie (October 1948–1949, including The Slider, 1949, Vic. 20-3542). In 1950 he toured Europe with Duke Ellington, recording in Paris with Shorty Baker, Ernie Royal, Nelson Williams, and Johnny Hodges (all sidemen with Ellington), and recorded in the USA with Arnett Cobb; he rejoined Ellington in 1953, and made further recordings with Basie and Davis in 1957. Ballard then led his own band, mainly in Philadelphia, where, from the early 1980s, he concentrated on teaching. From ...