Butch Cornell was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He began his musical career at the age of 10, studying classical piano with Mrs. Lillian Cadek Dame of Cadek Conservatory. He credits his aunt Rinaldo Anderson for his earliest musical experiences. He began working with Charles Young (Saxophone) and the Pace Setters Band (which also featured Joe Burke on Drums and Joe Bennett on Bass) in and around the Chattanooga area at the age of 14. After graduating from Howard High School, Butch moved to Harrisburg, PA where he formed an Organ (Hammond B-3) Trio and worked several club dates and concerts on the east coast and in the mid-west. In 1970, Butch moved to New York City. During this time, Butch met and worked with several top-rated musicians and singers. He started his long association with Stanley Turrentine in September of 1970, and in the same year recorded the classic album SUGAR with Stanley for CTI Records. He also recorded his own composition Sunshine Alley. Since that time he has become one of the leading sidemen in the world, working with such great innovators as Freddie Hubbard, George Benson, Grover Washington Jr., Plas Johnson, Arthur Prysock, Ernestine Anderson, and many more legends.