Poco was formed in 1968 by ex-Buffalo Springfield members Jim Messina and Richie Furay. They were joined by multi-instrumentalist Rusty Young, bassist Randy Meisner, and drummer George Grantham and the band became one of the founders of the Southern California country-rock sound.
Meisner quit the band during the recording process for the first album, Pickin’ Up the Pieces, though his bass and backing vocal parts were kept in the final mix. He was replaced by Timothy B Schmit in 1969.
Initially, the band were so conscious of hitting the East Coast – suspecting that they lacked a following there – that they planned an intensive campaign which resulted in them causing near hysteria at the Shea Stadium Peace Festival in 1970.
The group was somewhat overshadowed by other ex-Buffalo members Neil Young and Stephen Stills, and a series of line-up changes eventually saw Messina depart in 1970 (to be replaced by Paul Cotton) and Furay leave in 1972.
The line-up would change numerous times over the next several decades, with Rusty Young being the only constant member.
A reunion of the founding members occurred in the early 1990s and the band has continued in some form, though they retired from active touring in 2013, with Young citing health concerns as the primary cause of his retirement.
Guitar and pedal steel guitar player Rusty Young died of a heart attack on 14 April 2021. He was 75 years old.
Pedal steel guitar, guitar
Timothy B Schmit