Paul Butterfield (December 17, 1942 - May 4, 1987) was an American blues musician, and one of the most innovative harmonica players of the electric blues Chicago-originated style. Butterfield began performing in the Chicago area as a teen, and he soon formed a band with Jerome Arnold and Sam Lay (both of Howlin' Wolf's band), and Elvin Bishop. The Paul Butterfield Blues Band was signed to Elektra Records after adding Michael Bloomfield as lead guitarist. Their original debut album was scrapped and re-recorded after adding organist Mark Naftalin and playing at the Newport Folk Festival, where they backed-up Bob dylan as he famously plugged-in. Their self-titled debut, The Paul Butterfield Blues Band was finally released in 1965 (1965 in music). Soon after the release, Lay became very sick and was replaced by Billy Davenport on drums. Influenced greatly by Ravi Shankar and other eastern musicians, the band's second album was East-West (1966 in music), a critically acclaimed hit.
At the height of the Paul Butterfield Blues Band's success, Mike Bloomfield formed Electric Flag with Nick Gravenites and Bishop began playing lead guitar for The Resurrection of Pigboy Crabshaw (1967 in music). The album included David Sanborn, Bugsy Maugh and Phil Wilson, and was a commercial failure that stunted the band's career. The late 1960s and early 1970s saw a series of releases to a small and devoted cult following. Paul Butterfield finally died of a drug overdose in 1987.