Monday, November 19, 2007

Birthday and Get Well Wishes

Poco 2004: Rusty Young, Paul Cotton, George Grantham, Jack Sundrud

Category: News

November 20th is the 60th birthday of drummer George Grantham. It's also his third birthday as a stroke survivor.

Grantham has spent most of his career with Poco; however, during the 80s he toured as a member of Ricky Skaggs' band (the pre-Kentucky Thunder days, when Skaggs was touring in support of his album Don't Cheat in Our Hometown). His home, however, was always with the legendary country-rock band (a group that would never get country airplay today for being far TC - Too Country), and when they reunited in 1989 for the album Legacy he gladly rejoined the original line-up of Jim Messina, Richie Furay, Rusty Young, and Randy Meisner.

Poco has always maintained a loyal following that has stuck with them through the personnel changes, Eagles stealing their bass players, and temporary disbandings. This fan base continued to enjoy their live performances throughout the 90s into the new century.

On July 29, 2004, Poco played in Springfield, Massachusetts. As they began the second song of their set, "Call It Love" (their "comeback" hit from 1989), Grantham missed the beat. Rusty Young said he turned around and saw Grantham playing the hi-hat cymbal with his right hand, but his left arm was hanging limp at his side. Grantham assured his bandmate he was okay, but Young stopped and asked if there was a doctor in the house. Grantham was taken to a hospital, where it was determined that he had suffered a stroke. His left side was paralyzed.

George Grantham has recovered sufficiently to have a quality life, but sadly he will never be able to return to the love of his life, playing drums for Poco. In addition, Grantham's disability has put a financial strain on his family, with (according to a 2006 entry at Poco's web site) $1,000 a month in expenses over and above what insurance covers resulting from the ongoing care that Grantham requires.

"There's just a little magic in the country music we're playing," Poco sang on their first album from 1968. With the band preparing to celebrate its 40th anniversary, that lyric is as true as ever. As George Grantham turns 60, here's hoping the "little bit of magic" of Poco's music, the magic that has brought smiles to countless fans for the past 39 years, will in turn bring a smile to his face as well.

Prayers are always welcome for George Grantham. Well wishes and financial donations to help with the cost of Grantham's medicial expenses can be sent to:

George Grantham
P.O. Box 128523
Nashville, TN 37212

Poco's Web Site

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