It was sixteen years ago and it felt like yesterday. I was working for Goldmine magazine, the record collector’s biweekly publication, and had been asked by my editor to come to Sharon, Pennsylvania to cover the inaugural class of the Vocal Group Hall of Fame.
And that’s where I first met Tim Hauser. Tim was the lead singer of Manhattan Transfer, one of the best jazz / vocal harmony groups I ever heard. We talked about the possibility of a Manhattan Transfer cover story for Goldmine, would he and the rest of the group agree to an interview. He said that would be great.
A few months later, I was in New York City, with an exclusive interview with Tim and the rest of Manhattan Transfer – Janis Siegel, Alan Paul and Cheryl Bentyne. The interview went well, and it later became the basis of my second cover story for Goldmine.
And then came all the concerts. For years, I would always associate Christmastime with a visit to New York City, then to the Blue Note Jazz Club where Manhattan Transfer would perform during the holidays. After the performances, I would get to chat with Tim and the band. It was a treasured moment and I enjoyed the opportunity to spend time with one of my favorite artists.
Tim Hauser loved his association with jazz music and with music education. When his high school was damaged by Superstorm Sandy, he and Manhattan Transfer performed a benefit concert for the school.
He loved the Los Angeles Dodgers, he loved his vintage restored Mercury cars, and he loved manufacturing his own pasta sauce – in fact, he recently hosted a successful Kickstarter program to bring his sauces to store shelves.
Yesterday, I received word that Tim Hauser passed away. He was 72. This message was left on Manhattan Transfer’s Facebook page.
It is with heavy hearts that we share the news of Tim Hauser’s passing with you all… As many of you know, Tim was the visionary behind The Manhattan Transfer. We spent more than 40 years together singing and making music, traveling the world, and sharing so many special moments throughout our lives… It’s incomprehensible to think of this world without him.
We join his loving wife, Barb, his beautiful children, his family, and the rest of the world in mourning the loss of our dear friend and partner in song.
Janis, Cheryl and Alan
Rest in peace, Tim Hauser. Thank you for nearly five decades of great music and wonderful performances. Thank you for all that you’ve done. And most of all, thank you for being a good friend.
Tim Hauser’s first recorded work was with the doo-wop group The Criterions, here’s their first and only hit, “I Remain Truly Yours.”
Manhattan Transfer, “Java Jive.”
Manhattan Transfer, “Operator,” their first Top 40 hit.
“Chanson D’Amour,” the band’s first international #1 hit.
“Twilight Zone,” a way-cool dance track.
“Boy From New York City,” their biggest U.S. hit.
“Four Brothers,” one of their most famous ventures into the sounds of Vocalese, in which the artists’ voices replicate musical instruments, as in this case; a reinterpretation of Woody Herman’s band.
“Soul Food To Go,” an excursion into Brazilian soca music.
“Santa Claus is Coming To Town,” as performed on the TV show Home Improvement.
From his 2007 solo album Love Songs, here’s Tim performing the song “Love Wise.”
And finally, “Heart’s Desire” / “Unchained Melody,” as performed on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.
Miss you already, Tim.