Canadian singer-songwriter Susan Jacks, who lit up the airwaves with her band’s 1969 smash hit Which Way You Goin’ Billy? has died at age 73 while awaiting a second kidney transplant.
Jacks made an indelible mark on the Canadian music scene as lead singer of the Poppy Family, which also featured vocals by her then-husband Terry Jacks, most notably on another megahit, Where Evil Grows.
Jacks is being remembered for a smooth voice that helped her music career soar, but also for the humility that kept her grounded, even as she became a household name through constant airplay and the band’s performances on national TV.
Her older brother, Rick Pesklevits, says Jacks was “always singing” and drew the attention of high school bands before making it big in Canada, then moving to Nashville before she returned home to British Columbia.
Pesklevits says their brother Bill, whose name was referenced in his sister’s breakout song, donated a kidney to her in 2010, but recent complications from infections had her on a wait list for another kidney before she died in hospital in Surrey, B.C., on Monday.
Jacks leaves behind a son, along with five brothers, a sister and two half-brothers. Funeral arrangements have not yet been made.