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In Memoriam

Tim Nielley

The blues in New Jersey weren't enough to keep Tim Nielley in town. He went across the nation with various bands, attended woodstock and played around for years before discovering that Texas would be the scene for him.

In Memoriam Tim Nielley

Never leaving a jam without smiles and resounding thumps; playing with Pete Barbeck and Fred Geiber at the weekly Goat blues jam for almost 20 years. He met and influenced countless youths such as myself. He was a well seasoned bass player with that kind of amazing personality and level-headedness thats extremely hard to come by anymore.

His stories about gigs "way back when" were killer! Sure to make you bust a gut laughing. And the sincerity of his character was astounding; If Tim said he'd be there, he was. "Life is good" wasnt just his answer to "whats good?" or "hows it going?" It was his entire approach to life. From his style on stage, always rocking sunglasses; to eating his favorite foods everyday, pancakes or wafflehouse, breakfast for any meal really. Tim instilled passion and great vibes into every person he met. After years of playing with Clint Hooks, Jim Suhler, Texas Slim, and Tommy Katona; he also toured Russia with Nicole Fornier and even recorded two albums with Korichi Morita. He always met people with a smile and "life is good." 

One of my favorite things about Tim was how well we could communicate and dissect new music that we were working on. That crazy fun soul from small time New Jersey saw some of the best acts and contributed to some of the best shows seen in his time. Three decades of live music locally and two decades of touring made one of the best bass players to ever grace any stage.

Our hearts go out to Julie, his partner in love and life. We'll keep his memory alive because..."Life is good!" Thanks Tim!

--Taylor Newman

Kylie Rae Harris

The Kylie Rae Harris that I knew loved people, and made friends instantly. She talked with a man as if she’d known him forever. I asked how long he’d known her and he said about 45 minutes. Once, a young girl danced during sound check. Kylie sang “I see a pretty little girl in a pretty little dress.” Later, she visited with this girl and her parents. Her stepdad said it best at her memorial service when he said that he needed to learn to love more like Kylie did.

In Memoriam Kylie Rae Harris

Kylie also loved playing and singing harmony with others. That’s when she always seemed the happiest. Another thing about Kylie is the “authenticity” of her music. When Kylie wrote a song, she did not need to imagine what it might feel like, because she had lived and felt it herself. The stories behind most of Kylie’s songs were written from her own experiences, many having come from learning things the hard way. She knew, though, her daughter Corbie was the best experience she ever had. Kylie loved Corbie more than life itself, followed closely by her family and Corbie’s dad.

She knew and loved Jesus. That means more than anything else I could ever know about Kylie. Kylie performed regularly at the Cadillac Pizza Pub in McKinney, and the venue is holding a remembrance of her and benefit for Corbie on October 29. Music will include Zane Williams, Will & Crystal Yates, Adrian Johnson and many others.

--David Pennybaker

Richard Chalk

The first time I met Richard Chalk, I had answered an ad in Buddy magazine from a new label looking for songs. I had submitted a little song I wrote, and much to my surprise, I got a call from Richard. Next thing I knew, I was in Sumet-Burnet Studios recording for Topcat Records’ very first CD.

In Memoriam Richard Chalk

The first thing Richard told me when he shook my hand that day in the studio was that I was a “great songwriter.”

He would tell me that just about every time we spoke for the next 25 years. Richard believed in me and his generous kindness and patience taught me a great deal.

We spoke not too long before he passed away for over an hour. Several times during that conversation, he would casually remind me that I was “a great songwriter.”

To my pleasant surprise, I discovered that he had done the same with many other artists that he helped get started over the years, lauding their “great songwriting.” Of course he did. He had the same relationship with all his artists.

I don’t know if I would have kept at writing if it hadn’t been for Richard giving me that first break along with his tireless support and mentoring.

So, to Richard Chalk, I say, “Sawat dee and obrigado.” (Thai for “goodbye” and Portuguese for “thank you,” two languages Richard spoke fluently).

The world is a little less bright today now that you’re gone. We’re sure gonna miss you, my friend.

--Holland K. Smith

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