David Olney was born in Providence on March 23, 1948. In the 1970s and 1980’s he was a member of several bands including Simpson and the X-Rays, a band that once appeared on PBS TV’s “Austin City Limits.”

A Nashville institution since the 1980s, Olney was best known as an “Americana pioneer” writing songs for artists including Emmylou Harris, Del McCoury, Linda Ronstadt, Slaid Cleaves, and The Wailin’ Jennys. He also released several solo albums over the years.

Tragically, Olney died while performing on stage in Florida in January 2020. For more on the career of David Olney, visit his web site here.

Ken Abrams

Lifestyle Editor Ken Abrams writes about music, the arts and more for What'sUpNewp. He is also a contributor to Providence Monthly, SO RI, Hey Rhody and The Bay magazines.
Ken DJ's "The Kingston Coffeehouse," a roots/folk/rock radio show every Tuesday, 6-9 PM on WRIU 90.3 FM. He is a former educator in the Scituate, RI school system where he taught Social Studies for over 30 years.
Ken is presently on the board of the Rhode Island Folk Festival and Newport Live (formerly Common Fence Music), a non-profit that brings diverse musical acts to the Newport area.