David Olney Passed Away At 71
An Acclaimed Poetic Americana Songwriter
David Olney, Americana singer and songwriter whose music was covered by Linda Ronstadt, Steve Young, and Emmylou Harris, died on January 18 from an apparent heart attack during a performance on stage at the 30A Songwriters Festival in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida. He was 71 years old.
A fellow performer at the event, Scott Miller, wrote on Facebook: “David was playing a song when he paused, said “I’m sorry” and put his chin to his chest. He never dropped his guitar or fell off his stool. It was as easy and gentle as he was. We got him down and tried our best to revive him until the EMT’s arrived.”
Amy Rigby, who was also on stage, shared: “Olney was in the middle of his third song when he stopped, apologized 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.”
David Olney was born in Providence, Rhode Island on March 23, 1948. He moved to Nashville in 1973 and began writing songs. His last album was released in 2017 titled “Don’t Try to Fight It.”