David Olney, a folk singer who wrote songs recorded by Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris, died after suffering a heart attack while performing in Florida, his publicist said Sunday. Jill Kettles said Olney was on stage in Santa Rosa Beach on Saturday when he was stricken. He was 71.
Olney, a native of Rhode Island, was part of the music scene in Nashville, Tennessee, for decades and had recorded more than 20 albums.
He was performing Saturday at the 30A Songwriters Festival.
A statement was released on Olney's website celebrating his contributions to music and quoting musicians like Harris, who said "David Olney tells marvelous stories, with characters who cling to the hope of enduring love, all the while crossing the deep divide into that long, dark night of the soul."
A biography of Olney on the 30A website said he incorporated a variety of styles in his music, including honky tonk and rock. His songs explored offbeat topics such as a Nashville train disaster and late New York Yankees shortstop Phil Rizzuto, the release said.
Olney "tells marvelous stories, with characters who cling to the hope of enduring love," Harris said in a statement included in the release.