Musician David Olney dies while performing at Florida festival

SANTA ROSA BEACH, Fla. (CNN) - Singer-songwriter David Olney died on Saturday in the middle of a performance. His website said he suffered an apparent heart attack.

Singer-songwriter David Olney died on Saturday in the middle of a performance. (Source: Davidolney.com/CNN)

Olney was on stage playing a song at the 30A Songwriters Festival in Santa Rosa Beach, Fla., when he paused, said he was sorry and shut his eyes.

Witnesses said he appeared peaceful and never dropped his guitar or fell off his stool.

Olney’s songs have been recorded by artists including Emmylou Harris, Linda Ronstadt, and Steve Young.

His website said his songs were borne of a natural inquisitiveness: “He wrote of a Nashville train disaster, of baseball shortstop Phil Rizzuto, and of actor John Barrymore. He wrote about Jesus Christ from the narrative perspective of the donkey that carried him into Jerusalem, and about the Titanic from the perspective of the iceberg that sank the ship.”

Olney, who is survived by his wife and two children, was 71 years old.

Copyright 2020 CNN. All rights reserved. Gray Media Group, Inc., contributed to this report.