“William C. Schoellkopf, a Buffalo Music Hall of Fame inductee and respected federal court law clerk, died on March 4, 2024, after a prolonged battle with Lewy body dementia.” Buffalo News

The WNY music community lost one of our own on Monday March 4, 2024. Willie Schoellkopf passed after a long illness. Willie was an incredibly talented singer, guitarist, songwriter and one of the nicest people the Western New York music scene has ever known. He was the kind of musician you would want to have in a band. He totally committed himself to any project he ever was involved with and every band he joined was the better because he was there.

Willie was a proud product of a South Buffalo upbringing and he and his childhood friend Charlie O’Neill both sang in the choir at church. After attending Siena College he returned to Buffalo and started the Blue Ox Band with Charlie and me. I left shortly after to pursue other projects but that band brought him to Phoenix and Los Angeles, where the Argyle Street Band was born.

Willie and the band returned to Buffalo and since that time he played and sang with many groups. Argyle Street Band, The ShoBops, The Willies, The Kensingtons and so many more.

Willie was known for his smooth but gutsy vocals and could make any song he sang his own. His songwriting was introspective, straddling Blues, Country, R&R, and R&B. He was comfortable on a Martin Acoustic or a Fender Telecaster and he held his own as a Solo Artist or in a Band.

We are fortunate that Willie completed his solo album, Dee Da Doo, before leaving us. Produced by his good friend Dwane Hall, the album features Willie’s original songs plus a couple by his long time collaborators and keyboardists Ron Davis and Jim Ehinger, not to mention an all star cast of players from Buffalo, to LA and Nashville. All of them life long friends of Willie’s.

In closing let me say that Willie and his beautiful wife Collette have been life long friends of mine and I will forever miss him until we sit down with a couple acoustic guitars in heaven and pick a couple songs together.

A Celebration of Willie’s life will be held at the Sportsmen’s Tavern on Sunday, March 17th from 3:00 -6:00.

Rest in Peace Willie. We all love you.

Doug Yeomans

 

 

 

Angela Hastings

Author Angela Hastings

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Join the discussion 3 Comments

  • Jo Ann Cleary says:

    You have and will be missed.
    Love Kev and Jo

  • Sharon Pazzaglia says:

    I’m so very sorry to hear of this sad news!
    Willie was one of a kind. For sure.
    Collette, family, close friends…I’m sending my love to you all!
    Sharon Pazzaglia (niece of Tom Walsh).

  • Nancy Nathan says:

    This is such very sad news. Willie was such a sweet man and a great musician. I’ve been friends with Willie and Collette for decades. He will be missed. I hope to come share our memories and feelings with everyone at the Celebration of his life on March 17th. Love to Collette.

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