Dallas Blues and Jazz Historian Tim Schuller, Once an Observer Contributor, Has Died

TimSchuller.JPG
Courtesy Patty Mayes
Tim at the old Peaches Records and Tapes in 1977
This morning, Pat Boyack asked if I'd heard, if it's true: Had Tim Schuller died? Then, later, came the confirmation, via Buddy Magazine's Facebook page: "Sad news as long time friend and Buddy music writer, Tim Schuller has passed on. We want to wish his family and close friends our sincere condolences." I have since heard the sad news from others, among them KNON's Don O.

Schuller, for those who don't know, was a former Dallas Observer contributor, on and off for many years. But more than that, he was among the city's best and brightest blues historians. For years he spoke and wrote about Dallas's estimable blues heritage; jazz too. He wrote liner notes, contributed to big-name blues mags, including this interview with Freddie King compiled in Living Blues's classic-chats collection. And this '97 profile of Robert Ealey is among the finest things stashed in our archives.

Boyack writes on his Facebook page this afternoon that Schuller was a "throwback," a real writer and historian concerned with getting things right. Writes the bluesman: "I always saw him as the guy who played jazz and blues records in a small room, surrounded by books while writing about some artist that intrigued him and who had a good story." Our condolences to Tim's family.
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32 comments
Warren Goodwyn
Warren Goodwyn

Tim was the only one of my most admired people whom I actually met. I'm so glad I was able to tell him in person how much I admired his work. As the years passed, I came to admire the person as well. We shall not see his like again.

Bucks Burnett
Bucks Burnett

Will someone at the observer please find out how he died? There have been no updates.

Ehfudd
Ehfudd

went to school with him in Salem,Ohio. RIP tim

Bucks Burnett
Bucks Burnett

Am compiling informal tribute to Tim. Send any written statements, jpegs of pics or cartoons to: bucks1414@mac.com

Suejohnson0
Suejohnson0

Tim was a wonderful man and friend.  I will miss his silly singing, his gruff voice.  How endearing he would become to anyone who took the time to get to know him.. Miss you Tim and I loved you like you were my brother.  Sue

Tom Ellis
Tom Ellis

When I first moved to Dallas, got to know the blues scene, and started writing about blues musicians and harmonica players, it quickly became apparent to me that Tim was the "man" among music writers in town with an interest in blues and jazz.  In the 90's, when I was writing for the national blues mags Tim sought me out to tell me how much he liked my work--he was that kind of guy, selfless, sincere to the core, and someone who carried around an encyclopedic knowledge of the Dallas scene.  It was an honor to call him a friend.  I was unaware he was having health problems and am deeply saddened by his passing.  There is no one to replace him I'm aware of, and Tim's writing and gentle nature will be greatly missed.

Bucks Burnett
Bucks Burnett

On a humorous note - I am proud to be one of the few white people Tim ever wrote about. When I sent out a typically self indulgent press release about my fateful encounter with Vanilla Ice, culminating with the Icer throwing a glass of Ice Water in my face in the early 90's, only one writer among the local troops chose to cover it; master of the gripping blues bio, Tim Schuller rose to the occasion for Buddy Magazine, while, er...Robert Wilonsky had the dignity to look away, and the only eye witness, Michael Corcoran, then pop music critic of The Dallas Morning News, exclaimed he would write about it but did not. Without Tim, the single greatest moment of my entire life would have gone undocumented. Nice ice, baby.

Bucks Burnett
Bucks Burnett

What he hell did he die of? Can someone at the Observer please find out? Also trying to collect copies/jpegs of any and all existing cartoons by him anyone might have, for possible presentation/informal publication for friends. Send copies to: bucks1414@mac.com

Jeff Woiton
Jeff Woiton

I also had the great pleasure of working with Tim at the DO when we were on Herschel St., back when the late Ken Kirk was publisher and Bob Walton was editor.  I knew him more as a friend than a coworker.  He was very down-to-earth and very obviously sacrificing a lot in his life so he could pursue his passion for music.  He used to leave random cartoons and quips on Post-It notes around the office, and yes, his disdain for lesser writers was legendary.  I've been out of touch with him for a long time, but I will always remember him.  His passing came to me as quite a shock, and he's left us way too soon.

Charley
Charley

Vaya con Dios, my friend. I always enjoyed our conversations. I am happy to have shared part of such a magical time (our years at Peaches) in the world of music with you.

Parisrec
Parisrec

nice photo....good times

Ron Boyd
Ron Boyd

I am so sad I don't know just what to say.  Tim was like a little brother me, except that he knew ten times more than I did about the blues and music in general.  I worked with him for many years at the Dallas Public Library, and we'd go every week or so to hear some great live performance in the old Lower Greenville area.  I just can't believe he's gone.  I know there must be some great music queued up now in the Great Beyond.  Play one for us 'cause we'll be thinkin' of you.

Bill Minutaglio
Bill Minutaglio

Tim was incredibly generous, smart, and into the music for all the right reasons. He was a first-class musicologist and always very kind to share his deep, righteous knowledge (and really kind to suffer fools like me when I'd repeatedly call and ask him for help on something I was trying to write). He was one of those unpretentious, good-humored cats who just marched to the front lines to protect, chronicle and celebrate the music he understood and loved so well. Tim did a beautiful thing: His stories made the musicians feel their art forms had meaning, had a true legacy value. He gave those musicians their rightful place in history. That was Tim's wonderful, generous, gift to them - and to us.

Richard Chalk
Richard Chalk

 An eminently important historian, writer, supporter and lover of Texas Blues and Jazz moves on. God bless you, Tim!Thank you for your friendship and for your kind and generous support of TopCat Records over the years. You wrote the liner notes for our first CD in 1992 and I planned to ring you next  week about writing the notes for the upcoming 20th Anniversary-Best-Of-TC project.  But now you went and got a WAY better gig! Damn! We'll miss you, big time. Stay Cool brother!  (Can't wait to read your disquisition on the Elysian Fields, Texas Blues Band!)  R. Chalk

Cindy Tyler Fernandez
Cindy Tyler Fernandez

I worked with Tim at Peaches in the '70's and recently we had been in touch via email. He was still the coolest guy I have ever known. You will be missed, sweet man.

Cathy Gould
Cathy Gould

Tim was one of the best. Met him when I lived on Herschel as a teen in my 1st apt anywhere. I worked on Herschel, too, as a film editor at Cinemax (not that one!). Tim liked the way I had my music alcove soundproofed from the little old ladies adjacent~ (now I am one) with styrofoam packing inserts of all shapes & colours on the walls around my albums. He liked them too. I was flattered; he was kind. My heart's breaking to a 12-bar shuffle. 

Expostofacto@gmail.com
Expostofacto@gmail.com

I worked with Tim at HPbooks. I'm so sad, but I know I'm not the only one. He had so many come in just to talk music and vinyl who were disappointed when he wasn't in. We all enjoyed any time he was on the P A making announcements with his amazingly deep voice. His silly drawings and random photo labels hilarious. Miss you Tim. R.I.P.

Bucks Burnett
Bucks Burnett

By the way his great unrealized album project was to be titled I Xerox The Blues, with him standing by a copy machine, eyes closed, xeroxing a guitar which would be lying face down on the machine. And his amazing cartoons invented The Simpsons style ages before Matt G. knew how to draw! And he showed me a picture once of him backstage with Muddy Waters. They were playing cards at a cheap folding table.

Amy Martin
Amy Martin

RIP, blues and jazz writer Tim Schuller. So damn witty and wry. Super big brain. He didn't like me much, but I adored him. I was an overly young whippersnapper journalist with scant music experience who ended up with the DO Street Beat music column - but only because I could write short. And short was just not Tim's style - too much knowledge to share. I especially enjoyed his even longer pieces for the local Texas Jazz tabloid that had wonderful tangents and asides. He was totally music obsessed. May have been the most opinionated person I've ever known, but darn near irrefutable opinions. Tim, me and Bill Bucher  - those were some fun journalism days. I sure loved hearing him make fun of Pete Oppel at the Dallas Morning News. Scandalous wit! Would like to share the news of his passage with Bruce Nixon, but just don't know how to track the guy down. Carry on, Tim, now one with the melody, totally in the pocket of the beat.  

Bookstorebaby
Bookstorebaby

I was a current co-worker of Tim's and I can tell you, he will be sorely missed there. He taught me a lot about music and how to be cool. It's hard for me to think I won't hear his voice anymore, but I am so pleased that I got to have him as a part of my life, even if just for a short time.

Mike Haskins
Mike Haskins

I had the good fortune to work with Tim at Peaches in the late 70's. Very funny, very sharp, sometimes gruff and often very dark. I had huge respect for his musical knowledge and insight. Jazz, rock, country, but above all, THE BLUES. When I reconnected with him in the 90's and more recent years, I was delighted to find that his wit was sharper than ever, and his human insight had deepened and mellowed. He was always generous with his formidable writing talent. His love for Jeri and their partnership made him very happy. It was always a pleasure and a laugh riot to talk with Tim. I wish I had more time to hang out with him; it was always time well spent. What a sad day.

Bridget
Bridget

Worked with him at Peaches '77-'78. What an entertaining, loving, specimen of a human being! You will be missed!

Billy Keith Bucher
Billy Keith Bucher

Just got the news from Amy Martin that Tim Schuller has died. I knew and respected him greatly in the early 80s when we first both wrote for "Texas Jazz Magazine" and then for several years worked together on the Dallas Observer with Amy. Amy and I wrote about a lot of different kinds of music but we pretty much left the blues writing to Tim. His deep knowledge and even deeper love of the blues made him the ideal spokesman for the genre. For readers who wanted more knowledge of this powerful music, Tim will be greatly missed. As a musician, I could play the blues but Tim was my "go to" man to find out the history of the blues and where it was headed at any given time. 

Bucks Burnett
Bucks Burnett

I think of writing an essay about Tim, and I hear his deep baritone; "Don't bother, they don't pay well." Worked with him at Peaches in Dallas in '77. He was the first writer to ever write about me - for the Observer in 1982. Fucking hilarious, hip, great cartoonist...extremely smart. He was aging well, too. Saw him 3 days ago and he looked better than ever, in great spirits. Maybe the best thing I can say about Tim is my sorrow is less for his passing and more for those who knew him less than me. A major personality, millions of memories of great conversations with him. He sold me the harmonica Dylan threw to his date in Ft. Worth in '78 - in 2011 at a great price, because he knew I would put it in my Museum. I was never once mad at him or disappointed with him - he was a good solid cat. Fuck you, Death; give him back.

barley vogel
barley vogel

I also met Tim as our neighbor in the East Dallas hood, but Bucks knew him from Peaches. When I count our friends who would drop it all and come help, Tim is top of the list. Never mind all that knowledge  - he knew how to make you LAUGH. God he was funny and kind and full of old style manners and cool Detroit style and did I mention kindness? Sending love on top of all the loving memories we have for our pal Tim. Will miss you so much. Barley

Chuck Nevitt
Chuck Nevitt

I've known Tim since the late 70s, a neighbor first, then we discovered our shared love of the Blues. His days at the Observer go all the way back to when they officed out of a small house on Hershel Ave in Oak Lawn....a block away from where we lived. As anyone who has tried to make a living from writing, it's a tough row to hoe, right up there with making a living as a musician. Maybe that is why he felt such a kinship with them, as they all struggled to make it, doing what they loved. Tim did his share, and then some, to help the musicians in DFW....often being the cat who gave many of them their first ink. There is no telling how many of those people used that very first story to make it to newsprint as the centerpiece of their press kits. They will no doubt miss him as much as I will, and brother, that is gonna be a lot.

SonnyC
SonnyC

Tim was, in every way, one of the good guys. Fly on, brother. You will be missed.

Dave Moynihan
Dave Moynihan

My heart is heavy.   I was the lucky guy who got to follow Tim around and document some of his endeavors.   Tim was a great guy, he had a finely tuned grasp on the blues and jazz communities.  I treasure the drawings he did for me, the tapes he made from his music collection and the fun times we shared over the years.  And for all the times we spent  visiting the wonderful musical legends who made the Dallas Fort Worth scene so rich. My heart goes out to Jeri and all his friends who shared this life.  Godspeed my Brother, I miss you more than words can tell.    Peace   Dave Moynihan

Jerina1056
Jerina1056

Contact me J. Aday if you wish thru Dave Moynihan. I have some pix,etc. to add.

Dave Conner
Dave Conner

Ran with Tim or Mit at the time, in high school in Salem, Ohio. It was he and our good friend Tom Dutko that coerced me into getting a bass and joining together with them in a band. He taught me my first baby steps in music. Been a Pro Musician my whole adult life. Don't know whether to thank him or curse him. It's thank you of course, Tim.

Richard Chalk
Richard Chalk

Tim and Muddy playing cards backstage!!  I'd love to see that one!  Very Cool and totally apropos!    Tim was the epitome of Cool!

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