AceShowbiz - Poco co-founder Rusty Young has died after suffering a heart attack. The 75-year-old passed away at his home in Davisville, Missouri on Wednesday, April 14.
Born Norman Russell Young in Long Beach, California, Rusty was raised in Colorado and played in several psychedelia rock acts in his teens. He relocated to Los Angeles in 1967, befriended Buffalo Springfield star Richie Furay, and co-founded Poco the following year with Furay and Jim Messina.
They released their debut album, "Pickin' Up the Pieces", in 1969 and went on to drop almost 20 albums. The group's biggest hit was 1979's "Crazy Love" from the album "Legend", which was a top 20 hit in the U.S.
Young was inducted into the Steel Guitar Hall of Fame in 2012 and he released his first solo album, "Waitin' for the Sun", in 2017.
About Young's passing, Furay issued a statement to Variety, "I just received word that my friend Rusty Young has passed away and crossed that line into eternity." He added, "My heart is saddened; he was a dear and longtime friend who help me pioneer and create a new Southern California musical sound called 'country rock.' "
Describing Young as "an innovator on the steel guitar," Furay said that his late bandmate "carried the name Poco on for more than 50 years." The 76-year-old guitarist went on to share, "Our friendship was real and he will be deeply missed. My prayers are with his wife, Mary, and his children Sara and Will."
Young's longtime manager, Rick Alter, remembered the multi-instrumentalist as "the most unpretentious, caring and idyllic artist I have ever worked with, a natural life force that he consistently poured into his music." He added, "To fans and fellow musicians alike, he was a once-in-a-lifetime musician, songwriter, performer and friend."