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Rusty Young, Founding Member of Country-Rock Band Poco, Dies at 75

Rusty Young, a singer-songwriter and founding member of the country-rock band Poco, died of a heart attack on Wednesday (April 14) at his home in Davisville, Missouri. He was 75 years old.

Young was born February 23, 1946 in Long Beach, California and raised in Denver, Colorado.

In 1967, Young was invited by Richie Furay to play steel guitar on Buffalo Springfield's final album Last Time Around.  Soon after, Young co-founded Poco with Furay, George Grantham and Jim Messina.

The band was influential in helping to establish the Southern California country-rock sound

"I just received word that my friend Rusty Young has passed away and crossed that line into eternity,"  Richie Furay told PEOPLE. "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.'"

The band, which included Paul Cotton and Eagles members Randy Meisner and Timothy B. Schmit among its members, released their debut album Pickin' Up the Pieces in 1969.

The band's biggest hit was "Crazy Love," penned by Young, which hit No. 1 on the Adult Contemporary chart in 1979.

In the '70s, Young became the lead singer of Poco.

"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," Young and Poco's manager Rick Alter said in a statement. "To fans and fellow musicians alike, he was a once-in-a-lifetime musician, songwriter, performer and friend."

Young was inducted into Guitar Player Magazine's 'Gallery Of Greats' in 1974 and the Steel Guitar Hall Of Fame in 2012.

Young is survived by his wife Mary and their children Sara and Will, grandchildren Chandler, Ryan and Graham and Mary's children Joe, Marci and Hallie and grandchildren Quentin and Emma.

Young released his first solo album Waitin' for the Sun in 2017.

A memorial service for Young will be held October 16 at Wildwood Springs Lodge in Steelville, Missouri, where Rusty and Mary met 20 years ago.

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Rusty Young, Founding Member of Country-Rock Band Poco, Dies at 75