PASSINGS / Henry ‘Butch’ Stone
Henry “Butch” Stone, 96, a big-band singer and saxophonist who had a long association with Les Brown and his Band of Renown, died May 19 at Kaiser Foundation Hospital in Woodland Hills, according to a friend, songwriter and band leader Van Alexander.
A native of New York City, Stone learned baritone saxophone as a boy and played in his high school band and dance orchestra for four years. He also sang with the orchestra.
In the 1930s, he played with the Frank Reysen Orchestra and Alexander’s orchestra, singing humorous numbers and playing the saxophone.
In 1941, Stone joined Brown’s band. His signature comic song at that time was “A Good Man Is Hard to Find,” which was arranged for him by Alexander in the late 1930s. Stone worked with the Brown band well into the 1990s.
That band was a fixture on Bob Hope’s overseas tours to entertain American military personnel, and Stone participated in at least 18 holiday tours.
He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Shirley.
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