Tillman’s Bishop Arts closed its doors at the end of last year.
The restaurant had new owners starting in 2016, but it was founded by chef Ricky Tillman. Tillman started the restaurant with his wife, Sara, who is an Oak Cliff native, in 1992. But Ricky Tillman was from Houston, and his younger brother was the musician Bill Tillman, who started playing for the Coasters, Chuck Berry, Roy Orbison and Gladys Knight in the 1960s. He joined Blood, Sweat and Tears, recording with the band and touring worldwide from 1973-1977.
Later, Tillman moved to Dallas and started the 10-piece Bill Tillman Band. Here they are, above, in a publicity photo on the Houston Street Viaduct sometime in the 1980s.
“We watched Billy perform hundreds of times,” Sara Tillman says. “They were all over Dallas in the ’80’s.” Ricky Tillman died of cancer in 1997, and Bill Tillman died at age 65, after a fall in 2012.
YouTube gives us this 1987-ish performance of the band, and it is priceless. It even has credits at the end.