Rusty Young, founding member of Poco who wrote ‘Crazy Love,’ dies at 75

The singer, born Norman Russell Young, died of a heart attack at his home in Davisville, Missouri, on Wednesday.

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Timothy B. Schmit (from left), Paul Cotton, George Grantham, Rusty Young and Richie Furay of Poco pose backstage during day two of California’s Stagecoach Country Music Festival held at the Empire Polo Club in 2009 in Indio, California.

Timothy B. Schmit (from left), Paul Cotton, George Grantham, Rusty Young and Richie Furay of Poco pose backstage during day two of California’s Stagecoach Country Music Festival held at the Empire Polo Club in 2009 in Indio, California.

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Rusty Young, a founding member of the country rockband Poco who wrote its hit song “Crazy Love,” hasdied at 75.

Young’s management confirmed Thursday thatYoung, bornNorman Russell Young, died ofa heart attack Wednesday at his home in Davisville, Missouri.

“I just received word that my friend Rusty Young has passed away and crossed that line into eternity,” founding member Richie Furay told Variety. “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. My prayers are with his wife, Mary, and his children Sara and Will.”

Young formedPoco in 1967 with former Buffalo Springfield members Richie FurayandJim Messina after Young was invited to playthe steel guitar on Buffalo Springfield’s third and final album. George Grantham also joined Poco.

Over the next five decades, Young remained the only constant member of the band, whichalso included a rotation over the years that includedRandy Meisner, Timothy B. Schmit and guitarist Paul Cotton.

The group’s biggest hit was theAdult Contemporary #1 single”Crazy Love,” which Youngwrote in less than30 minutes while working on his house.

In a 2008 interview with MetroActive, Young said the hit song “was our first hit single. It’s a classic, and it still pays the mortgage.”

“I was paneling a wall and looking out over the valley in L.A., and the chorus came into my head,” Young told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in 2012. “I told [the other band members], ‘Don’t worry about the Ooh, ooh, Ahhhh haaa part, I can find words for that.’ And they said, ‘Don’t do that, that’s the way it’s supposed to be.’ ”

Themusician, who started playing thelap steel guitar as a boy growing up in Denver, was inducted into Guitar Player Magazine’s “Gallery Of Greats” in 1974 and the Steel Guitar Hall Of Famein 2012.

Rick Alter, Poco and Young’s manager of more than 20 years, called Young ”a once-in-a-lifetime musician, songwriter, performer and friend.

“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,”Alter said.

A memorial service will be held for Young on Oct. 16 inSteelville, Missouri, where he met his wife Mary two decades ago.

Young is survived by Mary, their two childrenSara andWill, his stepchildrenJoe, Marci and Hallie and grandchildrenChandler, Ryan, Graham, Quentin and Emma.

Read more at usatoday.com

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