Rusty Young (musician)

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Norman Russell "Rusty" Young (born February 23, 1946, in Long Beach, California) is an American guitarist, vocalist and songwriter best known as one of the frontmen in the influential country rock and Americana band Poco.

A virtuoso on pedal steel guitar, he is celebrated for the ability to get a Hammond B3 organ sound out of the instrument by playing it through a Leslie speaker cabinet and as an innovator of producing other rock sounds from the instrument.[1][2]

Early life[edit]

Young was raised in Colorado. He began playing lap steel guitar at age 6, and taught guitar and steel guitar lessons during his high school years. During that time, he also played country music in late night bars. Rusty played in a well known Denver psychedelic rock band "Boenzee Cryque".[3]


In the late 1960s, a former guitar student[clarification needed] became the road manager for Buffalo Springfield. Richie Furay and Jim Messina needed a steel guitarist for the Furay ballad "Kind Woman" on their final album Last Time Around and Young was hired.

Along with Furay and Messina, Young became a founding member of Poco in 1968 upon the former band's demise. Drummer George Grantham and bass player Randy Meisner rounded out the original Poco lineup.[3]

The band's membership fluctuated over the years. After Furay left the group, Young took on more song writing responsibility, along with Paul Cotton and Timothy B. Schmit. Young is best known for writing the Poco songs Rose of Cimarron and Crazy Love.

In 2013, Young was inducted into the Steel Guitar Hall of Fame.[4] At the end of 2013, Young announced his retirement.[5] but it turned out that it was a short lived retirement.

A few shows were booked into 2014 including three farewell shows in Florida. One of those shows was a performance in a recording studio in front of a live audience for a DVD document of the band's live show.[citation needed] Young said there could be some one-offs in the future after that, but the band would not be actively touring as before.[citation needed]

Young and Sundrud write and record music for children's story videos as the "Session Cats".[6] Young continues to do guest performances with former members of Poco and other country rock artists. Rusty released his first solo album in 2017 on Blue Élan Records, Waitin' For The Sun.

Young released his first new music since Waitin' for the Sun on 3/22/19. The new tune, Listen to Your Heart released digitally and benefits a local Steelville, MO animal charity, Santana’s Hope for Paws (Friends of Steelville, MO Pound) Animal Shelter.[7]


  1. ^ "Poco - Poco | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. 1970-05-06. Retrieved 2016-11-03.
  2. ^ Gressel, Janine. "Poco Plays Pretty Music at Eagles, July 3, 1969". Seattle Times.
  3. ^ a b Chadbourne, Eugene. Rusty Young biography at AllMusic. Retrieved November 25, 2011.
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Rusty Young's". Retrieved 2016-11-03.
  7. ^

External links[edit]