Rusty Young, RIP

 

The great pedal steel guitarist of Buffalo Springfield and Poco, Rusty Young, has died at 75. He always struck me as one of the nicest people in rock — and among the most loyal, too:  he stayed with Poco, through all of its incarnations, for 50 years. He is best known for three songs, the first being “Kind Woman” for the Buffalo Springfield (he was invited to one of the band’s recording sessions … and stayed).

When the Springfield broke up, he and his fellow band member (and lifelong friend) Richie Furay formed Poco and, in the footsteps of Gram Parsons, invented country rock. Poco was never a giant success, but it remains highly esteemed among aficionados. Young did contribute two of the band’s best songs — which are also among the most beautiful in the rock canon:

“Rose of Cimarron” (with future Eagle Timothy Schmidt’s angelic vocals:

And, Poco’s biggest hit, “Crazy Love”

Other band members came and went, but Rusty was there for every album and every concert over the course of a half-century. RIP.

Published in Entertainment
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  1. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male
    @MiffedWhiteMale

    First concert I ever went to, circa 1977 at Summerfest in Milwaukee, was Poco opening for America.

     

    Edit:  July 8, 1977.

    • #1
  2. Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Democracy) Thatcher
    Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Democracy)
    @GumbyMark

    Followed Poco from the start because I was a huge Buffalo Springfield fan, so when Richie Furay started his new band I was on board.

    • #2
  3. Dotorimuk Coolidge
    Dotorimuk
    @Dotorimuk

    His crazy psychedelic steel guitar playing on the live album “Deliverin’” was the high point for me. Just out of control and paint peeling stuff. Bought the album when I was nine, and still love it today.

    Didn’t care much for the band as they became more poppy, but those first five years are great.

    • #3
  4. Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Democracy) Thatcher
    Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Democracy)
    @GumbyMark

    Never understood why they weren’t more popular.  I guess their particular commercial niche got filled instead by the world-weary dirges of Glen Frey and Don Henley.

    • #4
  5. Jon Gabriel, Ed. Admin
    Jon Gabriel, Ed.
    @jon

    A little Poco trivia: Their band logo was designed by Phil Hartman, of SNL and NewsRadio fame.

    • #5
  6. Dotorimuk Coolidge
    Dotorimuk
    @Dotorimuk

    Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… (View Comment):

    Never understood why they weren’t more popular. I guess their particular commercial niche got filled instead by the world-weary dirges of Glen Frey and Don Henley.

    I think Poco’s biggest problem wasn’t the musicianship, which was stellar, as were the vocals, just that they never found anything interesting to write lyrics about. Just one love song after another, for the most part, with little flashes here and there.

    • #6
  7. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda
    @RandyWeivoda

    My two favorite songs from the album Legacy were sung by Rusty.  Really wonderful recordings.

    • #7