Last week, as we prepared for the biggest event in the AMA-UK’s short history, we were all shocked to hear the news of Bob Butler’s passing. Although we knew he had been battling cancer for nearly three years, we had been hoping he would hold on long enough to attend the second awards. All of us in the UK Americana community owe Bob a debt of gratitude, as it was his vision that led to the formation of the association.
At the UK Americana Awards show last Thursday, Bob Harris OBE took the time to deliver a personal tribute:
I was sad to learn of the passing of one of The AMA-UK’s founding fathers, Bob Butler, earlier this week. Bob was passionate about Americana music and raising its profile in the UK, through his work with his own live music booking agency Grapevine that he ran with his wife Claire Stein.
He floated the idea of forming a UK branch of The Americana Music Association with Bob Paterson, Paul Spencer and Ken Ansell in late 2012 and the rest, they say, is history. Bob will be remembered by all those involved in the early days of The AMA-UK and those meetings at the Green Note in Camden, the first two conferences at Maverick Festival and also by all the musicians and promoters and venues he loved working with over the years.
But our thoughts must remain with Claire and their family at this difficult time.