Poco's Rusty Young Dead at 75
He led the country-rock greats over their many decades
Published Apr 15, 2021Rusty Young — the singer-songwriter, guitarist and co-founder of classic country-rock band Poco — has died. According to an official statement from his representatives, Young died Wednesday (April 14) of a heart attack while at his home in Davisville, MO. He was 75.
Rick Alter, Poco's longtime manager, offered this statement: "Rusty was the most unpretentious, caring and idyllic artist I have ever worked with, a natural life force that he consistently poured into his music. To fans and fellow musicians alike, he was a once-in-a-lifetime musician, songwriter, performer and friend."
Born Norman Russell Young on February 23, 1946, in Long Beach, CA, and raised in Denver, Young was Poco's only constant member since the band formed in 1968. He started playing lap steel at a young age and began his professional music career with the Colorado psych rock band Boenzee Cryque.
Young eventually formed Poco after Buffalo Springfield broke up in '68, with the latter band's guitarists Richie Furay and Jim Messina joining Young alongside bassist Randy Meisner and drummer George Grantham.
Over the years, Poco would churn out an impressive 19 albums between 1969 and 2013, with 1978's Legend spawning their hits "Crazy Love" and "Heart of the Night."
Young retired from Poco in 2013, but he was the band's only constant over their many decades. And soon after his retirement announcement, he still took Poco out on the road occasionally, and in 2017, Young released his first solo album Waitin' for the Sun.
"I've been fortunate to have had a magical career," Young said in 2020 [via Ultimate Classic Rock]. "From the moment I was called to play on the Buffalo Springfield album, all through Poco, and now through my solo projects, things have just fallen into place. I've worked really hard to be the best I can be, and I think my music is the proof."
Young is survived by his wife, Mary, and their two children.