The Poppy Family Singer Susan Jacks Passed Away At 73

The Poppy Family Singer Susan Jacks Passed Away At 73 | Society Of Rock Videos

via WCFL1000 / Youtube

Singer-songwriter Susan Jacks of the Canadian pop band the Poppy Family, has passed away at age 73, while awaiting a second kidney transplant in a hospital in British Columbia.

Jacks had been suffering from kidney disease. In 2010, she had received a kidney transplant from her older brother, Rick Pesklevits. But the complications from infections led to her death on April 25.

The singer has made a mark on the Canadian music scene as the vocalist of the Poppy Family, alongside her then-husband Terry Jacks. They were responsible for hit songs such as “Where Evil Grows,” and their 1969 classic “Which Way You Goin’ Billy?” which reached No. 1 in Canada and No. 2 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.

Jacks’ bandmate and former husband, Terry Jacks, wrote on Facebook:

“I am saddened by the passing of Susan Jacks. She had a kind heart and sang my songs beautifully. I know she will live on beyond the clouds.”

Jacks was born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, and moved with her family to Haney, British Columbia, when she was 9. At age 15, she began regularly appearing on the national Canadian television show, Music Hop. While at age 18, she asked Terry Jacks to accompany her on guitar for some performances in 1966 and Craig McCaw later joined on lead guitar.

The trio started performing under the name the Eternal Triangle and Powerline before settling on the Poppy Family. Then in 1967, Susan and Terry Jacks were married, and McCaw soon introduced drummer Satwant Singh into the band.

In 1973, Susan Jacks continued with a solo career and released her debut album, I Thought of You Again, which earned her a Juno nomination for Canadian Female Vocalist of the Year. The album also included the single “You Don’t Know What Love Is,” which was written about falling out with her husband, who produced the album. The couple divorced the same year.

Susan Jacks recalled to Goldmine in 2020:

“The funny thing about ‘You Don’t Know What Love Is’ is that Terry and I had a fight.

“He had a short attention span, so I had to condense my words to short phrases for him to not lose interest, so I said, ‘You don’t know what love is, and I can’t understand it.’ He didn’t say anything but came back a little while later and said he had written this song with the same things I had just said. Well, at least we got a song out of it.”

She released several more solo albums during her career. In the early ’80s, Jacks married Canadian Football League player Ted Dushinski and moved to Nashville, where she became a staff songwriter for a local publishing company. However, she returned to Canada in 2004 when her husband developed lung cancer. It was the same time she was diagnosed with kidney failure.

Jacks had been working on a new album prior to her death. She said in a statement:

“The doctors say that the reason that I am so ready for a transplant is because of my attitude. I love life, am happy to be here and have a positive outlook about everything.”

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