“He was on the music scene for so many years and performed with many of the greatest names in jazz, yet he spent so much time with local musicians and children as well,” Paul said. “I think he grew up in an era of jazz musicians where they felt obligated to give back.”
The Savannah Morning News reported Tucker was also a former owner of radio stations WSOK-AM and WLVH-FM.
Police said the crash that killed Tucker, who was also an avid golfer, remained under investigation. The driver of the car that hit Tucker’s golf cart, identified as 52-year-old Robert William Martin of Spicewood, Texas, was being held without bond in the Chatham County jail on charges of vehicular homicide, racing and reckless driving. It was not immediately known Tuesday if Martin had an attorney.
Julius “Boo” Hornstein, a Savannah psychotherapist and jazz writer, befriended Tucker and worked with him for years in the Coastal Jazz Association, which organizes the Savannah Jazz Festival.
Hornstein said Tucker took excellent care of himself for a man in his 80s and kept a steady gig playing Sunday brunch at a Savannah hotel, where he had been scheduled to perform the night of his death.
“He was a working musician right to the end,” Hornstein said. “He was so instrumental in the music life of Savannah.”