Page last updated at 11:30 GMT, Monday, 24 August 2009 12:30 UK

Keyboardist Larry Knechtel dies

Grammy award-winning keyboardist Larry Knechtel, who performed with the likes of Elvis Presley and the Dixie Chicks, has died at the age of 69.

Knechtel died in a US hospital after suffering an apparent heart attack.

His death was confirmed by a spokesman for Valley Hills Funeral Home in Yakima, Washington.

"Larry's resume is a history lesson in great American music all unto itself," country music band Dixie Chicks wrote on their website.

Knechtel was born in Bell, California, and went on to perform live and record with artists including Ray Charles, The Beach Boys, The Doors, Elvis Presley, Neil Diamond, Randy Newman, Hank Williams Jr and Elvis Costello.

Dixie Chicks tour

He won a Grammy award for his arrangement of Simon and Garfunkel's Bridge Over Troubled Water.

He also played keyboard on the Dixie Chicks' Grammy award-winning album Take The Long Way and performed on the Hammond organ on the tour of the same name.

Blues singer and guitarist player Wayman Chapman, a friend and fellow performer, said Knechtel had appeared to be in good health following a recent holiday to Italy.

"He told me in 2003 that he needed to think about retiring, but since then he'd been going like gangbusters," Chapman said.

Knechtel's family are planning a private memorial gathering for family and close friends, but the date and the location are yet to be announced.

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