Community Gem: Songs by Debbie Schoulties of Clayton help others cope

Debbie Schoulties
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Debbie Schoulties

CLAYTON — When the COVID-19 pandemic began, music filled a void for Debbie Schoulties. Soon she learned that her music was helping others, too.

Schoulties picked up her guitar to pass the time. Her husband, Dan, suggested she record and share the songs.

Dubbed “quarantunes,” Schoulties posted upward of 500 on her Facebook page throughout the pandemic. She started by posting one each day, later upped it to two, and occasionally even performed three. She skipped very few days.

“It wasn’t intended to snowball the way that it did, but it was great,” said Schoulties, 67, of Clayton. “I had a blast doing it.”

She favored songs from the ‘60s and ‘70s but played a wide variety, from artists like James Taylor, Linda Ronstadt, Garth Brooks, the Beatles and Adele. Each day she would pull out her music and briefly look it over. Guitar in hand, she would prop up her phone to record the songs in her home, garage or outside.

Sometimes her friends would request songs. Often, they would share the videos with others or leave a kind comment.

“It was therapeutic for me,” said Schoulties, who was in a band in the ‘70s and has performed as a duo with her singing partner, Mark Yelton, for the last seven years.

Beverly Baker, who is a member of Concord United Methodist Church with Schoulties and nominated her as a Dayton Daily News Community Gem, said watching her perform gave her and others a reason to talk about something else in the middle of a pandemic.

“It brought us closer to each other and closer to the church,” said Baker, of Englewood.

As the quarantune series was winding down in May, one of the last that Schoulties posted was “Thank You for Being a Friend.”

“You know what?” she said. “That’s a good place to stop.”