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 Fuller Up, The Dead Musician Directory
Butch McDade
Butch McDade
 Cancer             Nov. 29, 1998
Age 52
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OBITUARY 
        
From the Aces Site
  Butch McDade
 1946 - 1998
FRIENDS, FANS MOURN ACES DRUMMER BUTCH McDADE

                     David H. (Butch) McDade, a founding member of The Amazing Rhythm 
                     Aces, succumbed early Sunday morning, November 29, after 
                     a lengthy battle with cancer. A lifelong musician, Butch was a 
                     popular Nashville figure who, along with his work with the 
                     recently-reunited Aces, had toured or recorded with the likes of Leon 
                     Russell, Lonnie Mack, Roy Clark, Tanya Tucker and members of the 
                     Subdudes. Leslie, his wife of more than ten years, was at his side when 
                     he died at his home in Maryville, Tennessee. He was 52.  

                     Butch formed the legendary Rhythm Aces with singer/songwriter Russell 
                     Smith in the early 70s. Their debut album, Stacked Deck, was released 
                     in 1975. "I never had a brother until I met Butch," Smith said. "He and I 
                     saw eye-to-eye on a lot of things-really deep things that made the band 
                     and its music what it is. People have always said there's something other 
                     than the musical nuts and bolts that makes the Aces special, and a whole 
                     lot of that was due to him. You just couldn't beat his feel as a musician. 
                     Every time he hit a drum it sounded like he meant it. It's really not an 
                     exaggeration to say that there wouldn't have been a band if it hadn't been 
                     for him. He found Stick (bassist Jeff Davis), and I found (organist) Billy 
                     Earheart, and that was the nucleus. The thing Butch taught me-taught all 
                     of us, really-was to do what you believed in and stick to that. That's how 
                     he lived and that's how he played music."  

                     "Butch is responsible for me having a career in music," says Davis. "He's 
                     the one who gave me a chance to step up, to play in a professional 
                     setting. I came to Tennessee because of him, so it's hard to estimate how 
                     much I owe him."  

                     McDade appeared on all six of the Aces' 70s 
                     & 80s albums, drumming on hits like "Third 
                     Rate Romance," "Amazing Grace (Used To 
                     Be Her Favorite Song)" and the 
                     Grammy-winning "The End Is Not In Sight" 
                     and appearing with the group on TV's 
                     Saturday Night Live and Austin City Limits. 
                     He was also an accomplished songwriter; the 
                     band cut his "Same Old Me," "The Beautiful 
                     Lie," "Last Letter Home," "Pretty Words" and 
                     "Living On Borrowed Time" during their first 
                     period. He sang his own "Oh, Lucky Me" and 
                     "Get Down" on their 1997 release, Out Of 
                     The Blue. He toured with the Aces as they 
                     began their 1996 comeback, but illness kept 
                     him off the road for the past year and a half. 
                     "There was never a thought of naming a 
                     full-time replacement," Smith recalls. "Butch  
                     was a part of the band evenwhen he couldn't be there anymore."  

                     Butch McDade is survived by his wife, Leslie, son Gabriel, daughter 
                     Caralie, parents Hugh T. and Jane McDade of Maryville, sisters Jane 
                     Monroe of Cleveland, TN and Ruth Prudhome of Jackson, TN and 
                     several nieces and nephews.  

                     Memorial service will be held in Nashville on Thursday, Dec. 3, 1998 at 
                     3rd & Lindsley Bar & Grill (816 Third Ave South, 259-9891) from 
                     2-4pm. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to: 

                               The Butch McDade Memorial Fund  
                               PO Box 110551  
                               Nashville, TN, 37222  

       
 

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BIOGRAPHY
 
 Amazing Rhythm Aces
        Formed in 1972, the Amazing Rhythm Aces were a US sextet consisting  
        of Howard Russell Smith (guitar, vocals), Barry Burton (guitar, mandolin, 
        dobro), Billy Earhart III (keyboards), Jeff Davis (bass) and Butch McDade 
        (drums). Davis and McDade had previously backed singer Jesse Win- 
        chester. The group was a country/rock outfit which also incorporated  
        elements of R&B and gospel into its sound. They recorded their debut,  
        STACKED DECK, in Memphis in 1975, from which the single, Third Rate 
        Romance, was culled. It reached the Top 20 on both the pop and country 
        charts in the USA. The band later found success only in the country area, 
        where its second single, Amazing Grace (Used To Be Her Favorite Song) 
        was a Top 10 entry. They disbanded in 1980. Smith went solo and Earhart 
        joined Hank Williams Jnr.'s group, the Bama Band. 
Music Central '96
  
 
 

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