NORTH PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) _ Trumpet player Billy Butterfield, whose melodic horn was heard in recordings by some of the biggest names of the swing era, died of throat cancer Friday, his wife said. He was 71.

Butterfield played with Benny Goodman, Bob Crosby, Artie Shaw and Les Brown.

He joined the Crosby band in 1937, recording their hit ''Moonlight in Vermont.'' Three years later, he went with Shaw, joining in the recording of ''Stardust.'' With Goodman, Butterfield soloed on ''La Rosita.''

Born in Middletown, Ohio, Butterfield started out playing the violin, bass and trombone before finding his true passion, the trumpet. He studied medicine in college for two years, giving it up to play full time.

Once a member of the CBS and NBC studio bands, Butterfield often free- lanced with his own group. In 1968, he became a charter member of the World's Greatest Jazzband, a group of traditional jazzmen reunited in the 1960s.

In recent years, Butterfield was often a featured performer at jazz festivals throughout the United States and Europe.

In addition to his wife, Dorothy, survivors include two sons; two daughters, and five grandchildren.

A memorial service was scheduled for Sunday.