An award-winning performer, producer and composer, and one of the architects of Rhythm and Blues, Jerry "The Iceman" Butler, 70, has enjoyed a 51-year career that began when he and Curtis Mayfield formed a rhythm and blues group, The Impressions, in Chicago in 1958. The same year, the 18-year old Butler wrote a song titled For Your Precious Love, which launched the careers of Butler and The Impressions. For Your Precious Love became a “ . . .. landmark recording," according to Rolling Stone Magazine, which said, "It is the first of the Soul Music recordings." The single, on Vee-Jay Records, became the first for The Impressions to “go Gold."
Butler, named "The Iceman" in 1959 by Philadelphia radio personality Georgie Woods for Butler's "cool as ice" delivery and debonair, effortless style (the name as become so synonymous with Butler that he had it registered) has had numerous million selling recordings ("Gold") during his career: For Your Precious Love (with The Impressions, Vee-Jay, 1958); He Will Break Your Heart (Vee-Jay, 1960); Moon River (Vee-Jay, 1961); Never Gonna Give You Up (Mercury, 1976); Hey Western Union Man (Vee-Jay, 1968); Brand New Me (Mercury, 1969); Only The Strong Survive (Mercury, 1969); Ain't Understanding Mellow (Mercury, 1973).
Nominated for three Grammy’s for singing and composing, Butler is the recipient of numerous awards, including several from ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) and BMI (Broadcast Music, Inc.) for his songwriting and publishing, two Billboard Magazine Awards as a writer and artist; a CLIO Award for writing and producing a commercial for Johnson Products Company and two Humanitarian Awards. Over the years, Butler has been an active member in the Rhythm & Blues Foundation; in 1991 Butler was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as “ . . . one of the architects of Rhythm & Blues;" 1n 1994, he was the recipient of a Rhythm & Blues Foundation "Pioneer Award"; 1995 he was a co-host of the Rhythm & Blues Foundation Award Ceremony, and is now an emeritus Chairman of the Rhythm & Blues Foundation.