Born in Newnan, Georgia, he grew up in Alabama, Georgia and Texas, moving from place to place as his family searched for work. By the time he had completed high school, Young was playing and writing songs that incorporated influences of folk, blues, country and gospel that he absorbed while travelling throughout the South. In the late 60s he worked with Van Dyke Parks and was member of the psychedelic country band Stone Country.
Steve Young wrote (and continues to write) many songs, including outlaw classics such as "Lonesome, On'ry and Mean" (covered by Waylon Jennings) and "Montgomery In the Rain" (covered by Hank Williams, Jr.).
His best-known composition is "Seven Bridges Road", which became a major hit for Eagles when they included a cover of it on their live album in 1980.
The 1996 concert recording by Van Dyke Parks entitled "Moonlighting: Live at the Ash Grove" (released in 1998) was headlined by Steve Young although he doesn't appear on the recordings. Van Dyke Parks stated in the introduction to the song "The All Golden," that it was written about Steve Young. However, this comment does not appear on the recording of the concert.