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David Olney, who wrote songs for music legends, dies while performing in Florida

Posted at 8:26 AM, Jan 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-20 08:40:50-05

SANTA ROSA BEACH, Fla. (AP) - David Olney, a folk singer who wrote songs that were recorded by Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris, has died.

His publicist, Jill Kettles, said Olney died Saturday after having a heart attack while performing in Florida.

He was 71.

Olney was on stage playing a song at the 30A Songwriters Festival in Santa Rosa Beach, just east of Pensacola, when he paused, said he was sorry, and shut his eyes.
Witnesses say he appeared peaceful and never dropped his guitar or fell off his stool.

Olney was part of the music scene in Nashville, Tennessee and had recorded more than 20 albums.

He incorporated numerous styles in his music, including rock, and his songs explored offbeat topics such as a Nashville train disaster and late New York Yankees shortstop Phil Rizzuto.

Olney is survived by his wife and two children.

Below is a performance from earlier in the day.