One of country rock’s most important names, Rusty Young, has unfortunately passed away after a heart attack.
Young was music pioneer in more than one way. He and the band Poco became a vital entity in the landscape of country and rock. Never concerned with making music that hit pop airwaves, Poco instead focused on the quality.
However, Young and Poco did eventually make their mark. The 1978 single “Crazy Love” was a classic dirge that ended up being the band’s first and only Top 10 track.
Besides creating some of the earliest music to be labeled “country rock,” Poco and Rusty Young are given credit for the use of the pedal steel guitar. It is now a staple in the genre as well as several others today. Young was one of the first to push the envelope and utilize it.
Young died at his home in Davisville, Missouri according to People. Additionally, the singer leaves behind his wife Mary, his daughter Sara and son Will, and Mary’s three children Hallie, Joe, and Marci.
Statements from Friend and Band Co-Founder
The loss of a close friend is never easy, but one that went on a journey like Poco went on is especially hard. This is the case for one of the band’s founders and compatriot of Rusty Young, Richie Furay.
In a statement given to People, Furay opens his heart on the loss of his friend and former musical partner.
“I just received word that my friend Rusty Young has passed away and crossed that line into eternity,” he said. “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.’ He was an innovator on the steel guitar and carried the name Poco on for more than 50 years. Our friendship was real and he will be deeply missed,” Furay, 76, added. “My prayers are with his wife, Mary, and his children Sara and Will.”