Richard Shotwell / Invision / AP
TOPEKA, Kansas – Robert E. “Robby” Steinhardt, violinist and singer for the progressive rock band Kansas, has died of pancreatitis. He was 71 years old.
His wife, Cindy Steinhardt, said he died in a hospital in Tampa, Florida on Saturday. She announced on Facebook on Monday that he had just recorded his first solo album and couldn’t wait to get back on stage and go on tour.
Steinhardt, originally from Lawrence, Kansas, was an original member of the group, teaming up with Topeka West High School graduates Kerry Livgren, Rich Williams, Phil Ehart and Dave Hope and with Steve Walsh, who grew up in St. Joseph, Missouri. . . Steinhardt played for Kansas from 1973 to 1982 and from 1997 to 2006, the Topeka Capital-Journal reported.
The group has sold over 15 million records and landed seven top 40 hits, including “Dust in the Wind” and “Carry on Wayward Son”.
The group, which has now made their home in Atlanta, continue to perform with Williams and Ehart as the only original members remaining.