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Robby Steinhardt (1950–2021), violinist and singer with Kansas

by Linnea Crowther

Robby Steinhardt was the violinist and co-lead singer for the classic rock band Kansas.

Kansas and side projects

Steinhart joined Kansas in 1972, when they were in an earlier, pre-fame incarnation, then named White Clover. Within a few years, the band was rising in popularity, and in 1976, they had a hit with the enduring classic rock standard “Carry On Wayward Son.” They followed it with the hits “Point of Know Return” and “Dust in the Wind.” Steinhardt’s violin was a key part of Kansas’ sound, particularly on “Dust in the Wind,” and he was also the band’s emcee when they performed live. He left Kansas in 1983, though he returned in 1997 and toured with the band for several years before stepping aside again in 2006. Steinhardt also formed the band Steinhardt-Moon and played with the Stormbringer Band.

Notable quote

“‘Dust’ is a pleasure to play because the crowds get off on it so much. lt helps me a whole lot in my performance. I need feedback from the crowd for me to perform to the best of my ability. ‘Wayward Son’ is a neat tune. It motivates me onstage, it gets the crowd going.” —from a 1982 interview for Music magazine

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Tributes to Robby Steinhardt

Full obituary: Rolling Stone

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