Very few musicians can claim to have been a member of a seminal musical group. Ohio-born, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame member Richie Furay can lay claim to being a founding member of not just one but two of rock music’s most revered, influential and groundbreaking bands: Buffalo Springfield and Poco. Both bands left a rich legacy of innovation, experimentation and creativity unequaled by their contemporaries. In the 1960's the Buffalo Springfield lit up the Sunset Strip with their distinctive blend of folk and rock, boasting three strong singer/songwriters in one band: Stephen Stills, Neil Young and Richie Furay. This creative powerhouse was the envy of all their Sunset Strip competition. While “For What It’s Worth” has become a 1960's anthem, their three albums, recorded over a mere 18 months, were brimming with outstanding original material. Richie’s clear clean vocals marked him from the outset as the band’s lead singer who also lent his voice to many of Neil Young’s early compositions. Richie was also the calming voice of reason between two powerful individuals, Stills and Young, who vied for dominance of the Springfield. When the Buffalo Springfueld finally imploded in 1968 from the simple fact of too many egos and an overabundance of talent, Richie Furay and bass player Jimmy Messina set about blending rock and country music, a risky proposition given the hippie world’s disdain for country music. What they created with Poco was nothing less than an entirely new genre of rock music, country rock. While contemporaries like The Byrds and Flying Burrito Brothers were content to merely mimic country music’s affectations, Poco succeeded in marrying the two formerly disparate styles into an effervescent, exciting and groundbreaking style driven by the stellar singing and songwriting of Richie and the innovative pedal steel guitar playing of Rusty Young. Poco set the original template that others would follow to greater success. They are the first country rock band. At an Eagles concert in Denver a few years back, head Eagle Glenn Frey pointed Richie Furay out in the audience with the acknowledgement, “If it wasn’t for you, we wouldn’t be here.” High praise, indeed. Despite the acclaim and respect he has rightfully accrued over 5 decades in the music business as both a band member and solo artist, Richie Furay remains the genuine deal: unassuming, easy-going, friendly and immensely talented. And that voice! No one can sing like he can. And if all that isn’t enough, he’s also the nicest guy you could ever hope to meet.
- John Einarson / Author of “Desperados: The Roots of Country Rock”, “For What It’s Worth: The Story of
Buffalo Springfield” and “Hot Burritos: The True Story of The Flying Burrito Brothers”.
I first met Richie Furay around 1967....In the early days of NGDB, it was our honor to share the stage with Buffalo Springfield on several occasions. I became an instant fan...of the Springfield of course, but also of Richie in particular. His singing and playing were top notch and his stage presence was absolutely electrifying....In 1968 the newly-formed Poco, (billed briefly as Pogo), opened for NGDB at the Troubadour in LA...They just blew us away. We broke up for several months afterwards :) ...In the Summer of ‘69, I ran into John McEuen at, you guessed it !!..a Poco gig in Huntington Beach, CA....We decided then and there to take that inspiration and put our spin on it...NGDB has been playing our version of California Country Rock (with a bluegrass/Cajun twist)...ever since ....THANKS RICHIE !!
After Poco came the SHF Band....Richie, J.D. Souther, and Chris Hillman. More great music....And that continues today, with The Richie Furay Band....The common thread that runs thru all of Richie’s musical endeavors has been his talent of course, but more importantly, it’s the joy, grace, and pure class that he brings to everything he’s part of....Richie has lent his voice to our records, and I’ve been honored to sing on a couple of his as well. It’s been 50 years since we first met, and I’m here to tell you that Richie sings and plays better than ever..!! Above all, I’m just grateful to call Richie a friend....Here’s to you pal..!!
- Jeff Hanna / Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
Richie is truly one of a kind... He has a kind heart, a kind voice and a kind hand when you need it. Who knows how the music we've loved over all these years would have sounded without Richie's influence. I know my life and many others wouldn't be the same if we hadn't met Richie along the way.
- Rusty Young / Singer, Songwriter, Guitarist of POCO
The Richie Furay show is one of the BEST nights of music I have witnessed in a long, long time. Close your eyes, open your ears, and let this master of his craft enthrall you with his voice. If you've seen him before, see him again. If you haven't seen him in a while, DON'T MISS IT!
- Pete Fornatale / Rock & Roll Historian and FM Radio Personality
Richie Furay really took me to another level. Richie mentored me. I watched how he worked as a songwriter and a singer and a performer.... and I really learned a lot just by being around him. I consider him one of my best friends, on many levels.
- Timothy B. Schmit / Bassist, The Eagles
I was a huge fan of Buffalo Springfield and in that very short period Richie continued to shine through while becoming one my very favorite singer/songwriters of the era. I have learned so much about great songwriting through the years from performing right next to him to watching and listening from afar as we both grew in our solo careers. Richie continues to be a mentor to me in so many different ways, he'll never know. I'm very pleased and proud to continue our journeys, together and apart.
- Paul Cotton / Guitarist, Singer, Songwriter of POCO
Richie Furay deserves his place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. His contribution to American music is truly appreciated by his millions of fans.
- Graham Nash / Singer, Songwriter of Crosby, Stills & Nash
Richie and I shared many wonderful times along the road to our collective and individual successes. "Kind Woman” and “Child's Claim to Fame” are the two songs Richie wrote during our times together with the Springfield, that still inspire me to this day. Enough so for me to sing and perform them in my set each night. My way of paying tribute to Richie as a writer and a warm reminder of the creativity we once shared together.
Richie was my best man at my wedding, which should tell you something about how I appreciated his talent and friendship. It was Richie and his wife Nancy who inspired me as a young man of 20 years of age, to seek out a loving and meaningful person to share my life with. Richie and Nancy's solid commitment to one another continued to inspire me for many years to come.
- Jim Messina / Singer, Songwriter, Guitarist, Producer of POCO , Loggins & Messina
Richie Furay, one of the most talented people I have had the pleasure of working with over the years. As a singer/songwriter/musician he has blessed us all with his beautiful music for five decades. As a man he carries in his heart an unshakable love for Jesus Christ and a faith so strong that we can only hope to achieve. I love you Richie, you are a true blessing in my life.
- Chris Hillman / Singer, Songwriter of The Byrds, Desert Rose Band, Souther-Hillman-Furay
“He(Richie) obviously contributed greatly as a member of Buffalo Springfield but also went on to greater public recognition with Poco. Buffalo Springfield is the cornerstone of the folk and country that followed. It’s fascinating how much has grown out of the collaboration of the original band members and then, the many shoots and branches that grew from their trunk to create an incredible music legacy of its founders. They’re even influencing the Americana genre to this day. They’re sound – and Richie still sounds the same as he did in the late sixties – is still as fresh and vibrant today as it was then. Have you heard Richie’s new album(Hand In Hand)? Amazing and it proves the point I was just making.”
- Greg Harris / CEO of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Richie has contributed so much to American Music. His songs, lyrics, and vocals are beautiful. He could blend with anyone. In Boenzyee Cryque we were so influenced by Buffalo Springfield. We even opened for them in Denver once.
- George Grantham / Drummer for Poco
From the first time I heard “On the Way Home” and “Nowadays Clancy Can’t Even Sing” from Buffalo Springfield’s first album there was a tone in the voice of the singer I couldn’t get enough of! Who was this person who was singing like a songbird? What I was hearing from Richie Furay never stopped for me and is why I enjoyed listening to his music so much! I remember hearing that a new album was coming out with Richie on it and I literately couldn’t sleep at night waiting to hear what new songs he wrote! I would get home with the new album (any album he did) and play the Richie songs over and over - soaking in each verse, melody and chorus! I think he is a genius in how he crafts each song in the utmost perfection and gives me a little something to reflect on! There is no better singer, songwriter or bandleader that still sends me to the Heavens when I hear his music or see him perform - thank you Richie for enriching my life with a voice of a songbird!
- Dean Fearing / Chef, Creator of Fearing's Restaurant Dallas, Author of The Texas Food Bible
For 50 years, in the iconic bands Buffalo Springfield, Poco, Souther Hillman & Furay, and on his own, Richie Furay has created heart-felt, heart-warming, soul-satisfying music. He has the voice and sensibility of an angel.
- Peter Knobler / Editor, Crawdaddy
Richie Furay was a pioneer of folk-rock, country-rock and soft-rock in southern California.
- Roger McGuinn / Lead Singer, Songwriter, Guitarist of The Byrds
I have seen many of my heroes perform well beyond their "expiration date" with voices diminishing, arthritis ravaging, or dementia creeping into once lucid minds. Then there is Richie Furay, whose voice still soars with the same clarity, beauty, and positive energy he floored us with when he blew our minds with Buffalo Springfield more than 50 years ago. I first saw Richie with Poco in 1969. It was one of those life-changing concerts. The harmonies. The instrumental virtuosity. The showmanship. The songwriting. The unabashed joy. There are threads of music that stay with you forever. For me, the list is led by the Byrds, the Beatles, Poco (and so much more). So many are no longer with us . . . but Richie Furay still sings. As long as he does, I'll be in the audience.
- Kenny Weissberg / Concert Promoter, FM Radio Personality, Music Journalist
I attended my first concert ever in 1957 when I saw The Kingston Trio and fell in love with acoustic folk music. It didn’t take much of a move to fall in love with the California country-rock scene starting with Buffalo Springfield. Needless to say, Richie’s music along with Stephen Stills and Neil Young from 1966 till 1968 brought us Buffalo Springfield. The Springfield lasted way to short a time. My depression was lifted when in 1968 Richie started another great one with Poco. “Pickin’ Up the Pieces” was another classic collaboration of great artists in Poco. This great musical genre continued in 1971 with the forming of the Eagles, influenced by Richie and Poco. I was lucky enough to promote 5 nights at my old club Tulagi in Boulder, Colorado as their second shows ever performed. History was certainly made that week. Richie’s band Souther-Hillman-Furay continued to expand the massive following. The musical geniuses like Richie Furay have given us so much great music. I’ve been blessed in being a small part of it for all these years.
- Chuck Morris / President and CEO of AEG Live Rocky Mountains
Deeply influenced by the first Poco record...Deeply influential on our musical careers and sort of followed in their footsteps...Deeply inspiring and to this day I've seen Richie play out and he sounds great, sings great, looks great, plays great. We are all disciples of the band Poco. I even painted my guitar white to match Richie's.
Richie Furay is a true American original. A Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, Richie has influenced musicians and fans alike through five decades of creative, genre-defining melodies, honest and heartfelt lyrics, and positive outlook on life is an inspiration to all who encounter it.
- Jerry Fuentes / Author of LEGEND: The Story of POCO, Webmaster of Deliverin': The POCO Live Concert Database
No one familiar with Richie Furay’s career can doubt the joy and passion that ignites his music. The complete oeuvre—from the delicate Buffalo Springfield song “Kind Woman” to the inspired foundation he provided in Poco to his dynamic solo work—has provided musical pleasures equivalent to that of any other rock legend. A uniquely talented artist, and an even finer person.
- G. Brown / Founding Director, Colorado Music Hall of Fame