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'A kind-hearted individual' | Louisville guitarist dies on stage

From delivering amazon packages to shredding guitar, Randy Chandler lived with a smile on his face. He died doing what he loved.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Randy Chandler lived many lives. He was a young boy in small-town Michigan, a delivery driver for Amazon, and a well-known guitarist in Louisville. 

"He was a performer, I mean he got on top of the table and played solos," said bandmate Les Masters. "He was the show." 

On Saturday, the show stopped.

Randy Chandler was playing lead guitar for the Les Masters Band at the Marion County Battle of the Bands. They were halfway through a nine-song set, hitting the first few chords of Stevie Wonder's "Superstitious" when Chandler collapsed.

"He stood up and uh fell over and never regained consciousness," said Masters, who watched it all from the same stage. Chandler was 51 years old.

"Everyone was in shock," said Vern Springer, guitarist for Second Hand Mojo. "It was just a horrible situation, honest to goodness." 

As Chandler was taken to the hospital, Second Hand Mojo was one of the seven other competing bands who had to decide if the show would go on.

Allison Stafford, the lead singer of No Deceit, said, "All the bands came together and decided they wanted to keep going for Randy and we wanted to give the prize money to his family." 

The thought brought tears to Les Masters' eyes. "They voted to let us have it and man, it's heartfelt," he said. "I can never repay these bands." 

That money is going to expenses for the band and funeral costs for Randy's family: a fiancé and son.

Masters said his guitarist always loved a crowd. His memorial is scheduled for 8 p.m. Thursday at Joseph E. Ratterman & Son, Inc. 

You can learn more, read tributes, and donate to the family here

You can see Randy perform on Great Day Live here

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