Much revered Nashville songwriter David Olney passes away aged 71 on stage on January 18

David Olney

David Olney has tragically passed away aged 71 after appearing to suffer a heart attack on stage at the 30A Songwriters Festival in Florida. He died on January 18.
The singer/songwriter, who has had his songs recorded by the likes of Emmylou Harris, Linda Ronstandt and Steve Young amongst many others, was mid-performance when the incident occurred and while doctors tried to resuscitate him, they were sadly unsuccessful.
Amy Rigby was performing alongside Olney on January 18 and posted her version of events in the aftermath, explaining that she was incredibly honoured to be performing alongside him and that everyone lost someone special that evening.
“David Olney, a beautiful man, a legend, a songwriting poet died last night,” Rigby said. “I was sitting next to him in the round, had been so honoured and looking forward to getting to trade songs with him and Scott Miller. Olney was in the middle of his third song when he stopped, apologised and shut his eyes.
“He was very still, sitting upright with his guitar on, wearing the coolest hat and a beautiful rust suede jacket we laughed about because it was raining like hell outside the boathouse where we were playing – I just want the picture to be as graceful and dignified as it was, because it at first looked like he was just taking a moment.
“Scott Miller had the presence of mind to say we needed to revive him. Doctors in the audience and 30A folks were all working so hard to get him to come to. It’s hard to post about this because I can’t really believe he’s gone. I am so sorry for his wife and family and friends and all the people who loved him and his music. Even those who never heard of him. We all lost someone important last night.”
David Olney moved to Music City in 1973 and became an integral part of the music community in Nashville. There are no memorial details as of yet.

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