DAVID OLNEY (WITH PETER COOPER) Part 2: PUBLISHED ON PRX 3/ 20 / 2020 - BEYOND A SONG originates in BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA and is sponsored by:THE BLUEBIRD NIGHTCLUB, REAL TO REELS RECORDING STUDIO, AND VISITBLOOMINGTON.COM
Beyond a Song host Rich Reardin interviews Nashville singer/songwriter/producer/journalist and Senior Director of the Nashville Country Music Hall of Fame Peter Cooper about the late, great singer/songwriter David Olney. Olney was born on March 23, 1948, in Providence, Rhode Island, and passed away on January 18, 2020. After briefly attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, he joined Bland Simpson's band Simpson. They recorded one album in New York in 1971. The next year he relocated to Atlanta and in 1973 moved to Nashville with the hope of selling his material to record labels.
In the early 1980s, he formed the band The X-Rays, which recorded two albums for Rounder Records. The group appeared on Austin City Limits, opened for major acts, including Elvis Costello, and broke up in 1985.
Over the following decades, Olney performed as a solo singer-songwriter, releasing more than 20 albums including six live recordings. He collaborated with artists such as John Hadley and Sergio Webb. His songs were covered by and co-written with Emmylou Harris, Steve Earle, Linda Ronstadt, Steve Young, Del McCoury, and Laurie Lewis, among many others.
Olney was a key member of Nashville’s music community. The Rhode Island native was a compelling and enigmatic presence in Music City. He wrote sonnets and starred at the Nashville Shakespeare Festival, and his live concerts blended tenderness and ferocity, theatre and sincerity, agitation and embrace.
Musical selections include: Flesh and Blood, Little Bird (What I do), I Washed My Hands In Muddy Waters, Barabus, The Suicide Kid, Roses, The Contender, 1917
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