David Olney, age 71

Frank Dudgeon
Frank Dudgeon
@frank-dudgeon
one month ago
10 posts

I just saw this thread - afraid I've been away from FOTMD (and the dulcimer) for too long.  I'm coming back to both.

I was very fortunate to talk with David Olney a couple of times when I worked at a public radio station in Boston that played his music and became a big fan, and caught some performances and became a bigger fan.  The breadth of types of songs he wrote is quite varied, from touching love songs to writing about John Barrymore or the Titanic (from the iceberg's point of view.)  Saw him live most recently when he came to the Portland, Oregon area where I live.  That's a fond memory.  His death came as a shock.

For years he had a weekly informal vlog on Youtube where for about ten minutes he'd update fans on appearances, maybe read a sonnet or haiku he had written, sing a song of his (or sometimes other writers he admired) and then give some background on how the song came about.  They're all still there - just search for "David Olney You Never Know"  on Youtube.

 

 

Salt Springs
Salt Springs
@salt-springs
2 months ago
175 posts

Well, honesty demands that I while remember Rubenstein's concert quite well I really remember Jose Greco's show.  Not because of him though, but rather the woman with the Castentettes in a Black Lace outfit moving around like a Mink............an impressionable young feller like me got "scar'd" half to death. As I recall after the show it seems like some of our crowd got hammered drinking what were called "Schooners" of cheap Beer at a Lum's Restaurant and started doing that dance with Ketchup bottle tops stuck on "their" fingers.....I'll guarantee that one dignified Professor would absolutely deny under oath that she did that nearly 50 years ago.

Ken Longfield
Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
2 months ago
644 posts

I had learned of David's death on FaceBook. His passing leaves a large hole in the folk music world. Salt, I do remember Jose Greco and Arthur Rubinstein. Both were wonderful performers in their own right.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Robin Thompson
Robin Thompson
@robin-thompson
2 months ago
1,025 posts

Truly, that's sad about your best buddy. 

Though I was just an elementary school kid, I remember the name Arthur Rubenstein.  




--
Robin T
one of the Moderators here :)
Keep a song in your heart!
Salt Springs
Salt Springs
@salt-springs
2 months ago
175 posts

I really didn't think too much of it at the time since I  was usually a "Go-Fer" and jack of all trades sort.  I did layouts on an old fashioned contraption called a Vari-type machine, cut copy and hauled stuff around in an old VW I bought for a few hundred bucks. ( My best buddy there was drafted and during the war and killed in a training accident during basic training... we both had VW bugs and shared all sorts of "Go-fer" jobs".  He was one of the staff photographers as well and that enabled me get to see and greet some of those characters.)

 * A funny story about Rubenstein....the afternoon before his concert a monster of a Steinway Piano was placed on the stage where he was to perform.  (You could see and hear everything going on in that auditorium since our workspace/offices were above the stage and at the back of the seating area.)  The tuners worked on that Piano for a long time with all sorts of racket being made.  When Rubenstein came to check the piano we watched as he played up and down the key board and picked out 2 or 3 keys that needed to be tuned some more........that's how good an ear he had.

Robin Thompson
Robin Thompson
@robin-thompson
2 months ago
1,025 posts

Wow, Salt, that's pretty special how you got to meet lots of performers for your college's newspaper!  Nice for you to have such memories.  




--
Robin T
one of the Moderators here :)
Keep a song in your heart!
Salt Springs
Salt Springs
@salt-springs
2 months ago
175 posts

You know, I really can't remember if I heard him when he was with the Nashville Jug Band or before that time.  For some reason I think he was at a folk festival in NC about 1970 or 71.  There were lots of folks there performing that weekend.  I remember Doc Watson being there and doing a couple of shows and I'm pretty sure Homer Ledford dulcimers were being sold that weekend as well.  I'll have to check my old ECU yearbook if I can find it and see who was the woman singing with Doc Watson that day. (Those were interesting days, since I had a job with the College paper and got to see and very briefly greet many of the performers at various concerts..........anyone remember Jose Greco or Arthur Rubenstein?  A long time ago for sure!)

It has only been a few years since I really found out what a gifted writer he was.  I never really paid to much attention to who wrote the music for many of the people I used to hear on radio or on albums I had.........I  think it was EmmyLou Harris' performance of his song "Jerusalem Tomorrow",  that got me interested in his work.

Robin Thompson
Robin Thompson
@robin-thompson
2 months ago
1,025 posts

@salt-springs Did you ever see David Olney play in person?  

@irene I'll have to check out the video you recommended.  




--
Robin T
one of the Moderators here :)
Keep a song in your heart!
IRENE
IRENE
@irene
2 months ago
140 posts

Robin,  thanks for posting this one.   I wanted to hear what his songs were like and he told of the song where he "found his voice".  I really really enjoyed it.   Monday Morning video, David Olney.   Aloha 'Oe to David. 

Salt Springs
Salt Springs
@salt-springs
2 months ago
175 posts

Indeed Robin!

Robin Thompson
Robin Thompson
@robin-thompson
2 months ago
1,025 posts

I read the account of David Olney's passing from a woman who was on stage with him at the time of his death.  His chin went to his chest and all thought, at first, he was just pausing. . . We should all be so lucky as to go so easily.  Rest in peace, David Olney.    




--
Robin T
one of the Moderators here :)
Keep a song in your heart!
Salt Springs
Salt Springs
@salt-springs
2 months ago
175 posts

One of the greatest Americana singer-songwriters died during a concert at Santa Rosa Beach, Florida.  There is no question that his loss will be mourned by any Folk Musician who appreciates incredible talent and skill as well as a host of professional entertainers..............such a sad loss.