Louisville guitarist dies on stage; bands use prize money to pay for funeral arrangements

Randy Chandler, 51, was performing with the Les Masters Band in an eight-band Battle of the Bands at the Marion County Fairgrounds.
Published: Jun. 7, 2021 at 7:07 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 7, 2021 at 7:28 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - A Saturday night Battle of the Bands concert turned tragic when a Louisville musician collapsed on stage.

Randy Chandler, 51, was performing with the Les Masters Band when he collapsed after the band’s third song. Les Masters told WAVE 3 News nurses rushed on stage to attempt CPR, and Chandler was quickly transported to a local hospital where he died.

“He’ll never be replaced and we’re not even looking for somebody to replace him,” Masters said. “I hugged him (before the performance) and I said, ‘you’re going to kill it today Randy. You’re going to kill it today, my friend.’ And he said, ‘I love you boss.’ And he always called me boss.”

But through heartbreak, there’s humanity.

The bands who finished in the top three agreed to donate the top prize of $5,000 to the Les Masters Band to pay for Chandler’s funeral arrangements.

A spokesperson for the Marion County Fair Board said the board will also contribute $500 to Chandler’s family.

“They’re first class,” Masters said. “These bands that are in this, I’ll never be able to thank them enough for what they’ve done and the support they’ve shown.”

Masters said the band will take a break to grieve, but will continue to play shows in the near future.

“There’s no doubt that Randy Chandler would want us to go on and play music,” Masters said. “And we’re going to take some time to grieve and we’re going to play it in Randy’s honor.”

Masters said services for Chandler will be held on Thursday at Ratterman Funeral Home at 7336 Southside Drive.

To view his obituary and funeral information, click here.

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