Jim Cullum died yesterday. Most of the world knows him as a Dixielandland coronet player and for his 23 years at The host of Riverwalk Jazz broadcast live from his club on the San Antonio Riverwalk.

I got to know Jim a little through business dealings. He tried to hire me to be his agent, I tried to sign his records to my label, we had a some lunches, conversations, and phone calls. I hired him to kick off the show for the San Antonio's Mardis Gras Celebration at the Arneson River Theatre three years in a row and in 2017 featured, for the last time ever on stage together, the original Jim Cullum Happy Jazz Band line-up.

Jim was a funny guy and a fine jazz artist.

What many people, including those in San Antonio, don't know is how instrumental Jim Cullum was in making the Riverwalk what it is. He and few other ambitious restaurateurs and bar owners schemed, plotted, and planned ways to get people down to a shady, military "off-limits" area to spend money, and see music every weekend. At the end of the night, Jim and company would go by every club and talk to the owners about crowds, sales, what they sold, how much and every detail. They'd compare notes and try and make another grand plan for the next weekend. Their shenanigans have resulted in many traditions that carry on this day, including dying the river green for St. Patty's Day. These practices were the beginnings of the Paseo del Rio aka the San Antonio Riverwalk Association and Jim Cullum was it's first and founding President. I'm proud to say that Peterson Entertainment, Llc has been a member of SARWA throughout all of our dealings with Jim Cullum.

Jim worked closely with people who loved and believed in the future of San Antonio, including one developer would you buy and rehab hotels and sell them for no profit under the condition that new owners face their properties towards the Riverwalk.

For SARWA's 50th celebration, Jim and two of his early SARWA cronies who made the Riverwalk was it is today, gave a lovely recounting of stories and moments. It was humbling to be among such giants knowing that we are now those carrying that tradition forward with our events, marketing, schemes, plans, and collaborations. All very much in line with the way Jim Cullum started doing business.

RIP Mr. Cullum. I'm thrilled to have known you, worked with you and heard many of your stories. Yesterday the world lost a great jazz artist, another fine Texan moved on to that big ranch in the sky, and San Antonio lost an historic icon. Thank you for all you have done. We promise to work and protect your legacy here in San Antonio and on the Riverwalk.