Butch Miles

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Butch Miles
Birth nameCharles J. Thornton, Jr.
Born (1944-07-04) July 4, 1944 (age 74)
InstrumentsDrum set
Years activeLate 1960s—present
Associated actsCount Basie Orchestra

Butch Miles (born Charles J. Thorton, Jr. on July 4, 1944 in Ironton, Ohio[1]) is an American jazz drummer. He has played with the Count Basie Orchestra, Dave Brubeck, Ella Fitzgerald, Sammy Davis Jr., and Frank Sinatra, among others.[2]

Miles, who cites Buddy Rich, Gene Krupa, and Jo Jones as favorite drummers,[1] began playing snare drum at the age of nine and majored in music at West Virginia State University(1962–66). After receiving his degree, he went on tour with the Iris Bell Trio.[1] He was Mel Torme's drummer for 3 1/2 years and it was Torme and Buddy Rich who recommended Miles to Count Basie when a drummer was needed. Miles was with the Count Basie Orchestra from 1975 to 1979, returning for ten years from 1997 to 2007, and was also leader of the group Jazz Express in the 1980s and 1990s.[3] He has also performed at the Newport and Montreux Jazz Festivals.[2]

Butch Miles is a member of the West Virginia Music Hall of Fame 2011 class of inductees. He is currently a professor in the School of Music at Texas State University-San Marcos.

In the first week of March 2014 Butch was diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis which has no treatment other than a lung transplant. On July 29, 2014 he received a lung transplant and went into a period of recovery at his home in Buda, TX.[4]

Selected discography[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Feather, Leonard; Gitler, Ira (2007) [1999]. The Biographical Encyclopedia of Jazz. New York City, New York: Oxford University Press. p. 463. ISBN 978-0-19-532000-8.
  2. ^ a b "Butch Miles - Jazz Drums". Retrieved 2008-01-19.
  3. ^ Cook, Richard (2005). Richard Cook's Jazz Encyclopedia. New York City, New York: Penguin Books. p. 426. ISBN 0-14-102646-4.
  4. ^ "Fundraiser for Legendary Drummer, Butch Miles, Seeking Lung Transplant". Retrieved 2014-07-24.
  5. ^ "Straight on Till Morning". Amazon.com. 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-19.
  6. ^ "Cookin'". Amazon.com. 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-19.
  7. ^ "Back Home". Amazon.com. 2000. Retrieved 2016-12-22.
  8. ^ "Butch Miles". Discogs. 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-19.

External links[edit]