Being an avid Elvis Costello fan, I first heard the name David Olney when I saw that he and his band the X-Rays were the opening act for Costello’s famous “country show” at the Grand Ole Opry in 1982. It didn’t take me long after that to discover the depth of talent that Olney has as a songwriter.
After two records with the X-Rays, Olney began a solo career in 1986 and has since released a remarkable 28 records. As a writer, his songs have been covered by the likes of Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt as well as appearing on the Nashville television show. That’s quite an impressive list for this man who sports a trademark fedora creating a rather iconic look as a quintessential Nashville songwriter. The late Townes Van Zandt once wrote “Dave Olney is one of the best songwriters I’ve ever heard — and that’s true. I mean that from my heart.” Now that’s what I call a compliment!
David has also kept busy as an actor with The Nashville Shakespeare Festival and as a radio DJ on WXNA-FM. You can also watch his weekly video streamcast at www.davidolney.com in which he performs a song and shares the story behind it.
Olney regularly tours the world over, and you can catch him at The Family Wash next Friday afternoon (10/06/17) for a WMOT “Live Lunch” broadcast and at Kimbro’s in Franklin next Saturday (10/07/17).
Thanks Dave for the following “11 Questions” that include a couple of good laughs if you’re paying attention!
Where are you from originally, when did you move to Nashville and why?
Rhode Island. I came to Nashville in 1973. I wanted to be in a music town. Also, I wanted to be famous.
What are the first and the last records you bought, and where did you buy them? Were they CD, vinyl or digital?
First: “Only the Lonely” by Roy Orbison on vinyl at Ann and Hope Mill Outlet in Lincoln, RI.
Most Recent: The Greatest Hits of Charlie McCoy online
First and last live concerts that you’ve seen?
First: Ray Charles in Providence, RI
Most recent: Amelia White & Sergio Webb at the City Winery in Nashville, TN
Whose star should be added to the Music City Walk of Fame?
Where do you go in Nashville for coffee and pizza?
Coffee: Three Brothers Coffee Shop on West End Ave. in Nashville, TN
Pizza: My kitchen
What’s your favorite record to ever come out of Nashville?
Single: “El Paso” by Marty Robbins
LP: The Nashville Sessions by Townes Van Zandt
Where’s the best place to eat late night after a show?
The Bluebird calls and asks you to host an “In the Round.” Pick three local songwriters to join you.
Tom House, Anne McCue and Derek Hoke.
What are your favorite music venues to play in town?
The 5 Spot and hatWRKS.
Name a musician who you’d like to see move here.
Abbie Gardner (of Red Molly)
Finally, what’s in your musical future?
First, we take Murfreesboro. Then we conquer the world.