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Perry Lafayette Botkin
Birth: Jul. 22, 1907
Springfield
Clark County
Ohio, USA
Death: Oct. 15, 1973
Los Angeles County
California, USA

Musician, Composer. Instrumental musician specializing in banjo, guitar, ukulele, and a variety of Old-World string instruments. He made his first professional appearance in 1922, playing the ukulele with Singin' Sam the Barbasol Man in Richmond, Indiana, and shortly after that, he joined the New York music scene. He played at Barneys, a famous Greenwich Village night spot during the Prohibition days, and eventually began recording and playing radio shows. He moved west to California in 1935, at the beginning of the westward trek of big-time radio. He can be heard playing his guitar or strumming his banjo or as a leader of orchestras on many early New York and California recordings. He and his orchestras recorded with Al Jolson, Eddie Cantor, Glenn Miller, the Dorsey Brothers, Benny Goodman, Paul Whiteman, Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, Sons of the Pioneers, Hoagy Carmichael, Louis Armstrong, Spike Jones, Fred Astaire, and many others. He worked on numerous radio shows, including playing for the original Fibber McGee and Molly radio show. He was Bing Crosby's guitar player and music supervisor for many years. His song compositions include "Two Shillelagh O'Sullivan", "Duke of the Uke", and "Ukey-Ukulele". He also was a character actor in the movie "Birth Of The Blues" (1941), and he scored the movie "Murder By Contract" (1958). In the early 1960s, he composed, arranged, and played music for the Beverly Hillbillies television program, including his composition "Elly May's Theme" played on electric guitar. His parents Ed Botkin and Mary (Perry) Botkin divorced early in his life and he remained estranged from his father. He and his mother eventually moved to Richmond, Indiana, the center of the early Jazz recording industry, where Perry "cut his teeth" on jazz. Unlike his father, Perry enjoyed a long and successful marriage and family with Virginia Ellis, whom he married in 1930. They had 3 children, Perry Jr., Ted, and Molly. Perry's good friend and fellow musician John Scott Trotter recounted this memory when eulogizing Perry in 1973: "One of my favorite Perry-Virginia stories is the one about her father, Ray Ellis. When he heard that Virginia and Perry were planning to be married he said to Virginia's mother, 'Here we sent her to the best schools and gave her a fine education and now she wants to marry some jazzbone player from a den of iniquity.' Happily, Ray lived to be proud that he had a 'jazzbone player' for a son-in-law!" [Sources: Research of his archives and memorabilia at the University of Wyoming American Heritage Center in Laramie, Wyoming; interviews and emails with his son Perry Botkin Jr. and his daughter Molly Botkin Rossiter; and extensive research of prior-year news items and biographical materials.]  (bio by: Jan Therkildsen) 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  Paul Edward Botkin (1883 - 1956)
  Mary May Perry Botkin (1886 - 1959)
 
 Spouse:
  Virginia Cathryn Ellis Botkin (1906 - 1980)
 
 Children:
  Ted Ellis Botkin (1938 - 1985)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Glen Haven Memorial Park
Sylmar
Los Angeles County
California, USA
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Jan Therkildsen
Record added: Jul 25, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 73942787
Perry Lafayette Botkin
Added by: Jan Therkildsen
 
Perry Lafayette Botkin
Added by: Jan Therkildsen
 
Perry Lafayette Botkin
Added by: LPBlankenship
 
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God bless
- frank
 Added: Apr. 9, 2017

- Lazer
 Added: Oct. 15, 2016

- David Wend
 Added: Jul. 22, 2016
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