Musician Susan Jacks in an undated file photo.

Musician Susan Jacks in an undated file photo.

OBITUARY

Tributes pour in for Susan Jacks, singer of ’60s pop hit ‘Which Way You Goin’ Billy,’ dead at age 73

BC Entertainment Hall of Fame inductee was born in Saskatoon

Pop singer/songwriter Susan Jacks died in Surrey Memorial Hospital, her family says.

The longtime musician succumbed to complications from kidney disease on Monday (April 25). She was 73.

“Those who knew Susan will remember her as an amazing sister, a cherished friend, a loving mother,” says a family statement posted to Facebook by Jacks’ brother, Rick Pesklevits.

“She had a beautiful voice that she loved to share with the world.

“Throughout her long professional music career and her difficult health challenges in recent years, she was a fighter to the end.”

Born in Saskatoon as Susan Pesklevits in 1948, as one of eight children, Jacks shot to international fame as part of the Poppy Family with then-husband Terry Jacks.

Her first recording, 1969’s “Which Way You Goin’ Billy,” sold three million records worldwide and became #1 in Canada and #2 on Billboard in the U.S. A string of hits followed, notes a bio on the BC Entertainment Hall of Fame website.

In 1980, she recorded “Ghosts,” which also received a Juno nomination. Jacks moved to Nashville in 1983. While there, she recorded “Tall Dark Stranger” which gave her another Juno nomination and won her Best New Country Artist in Oklahoma. She became a staff songwriter for a Nashville Publishing Company. In 2004, she returned to Vancouver and resumed her singing career.

“In 2016, the singer was hospitalized due to potentially fatal kidney problems,” says a post on imdb.com. “She recovered completely and returned to the studio in 2018 to record a new album.”

In White Rock, Jacks performed at Blue Frog Studio back in the summer of 2014.

“So sorry to hear about Susan passing,” studio operator Kelly Breaks posted to Facebook. “She was always a class act when she performed.”

Singer Burton Cummings tweeted about Jacks’ death early Tuesday.

“Sad to hear about Susan Jacks’ passing. I remember her as charming, warm and down to earth,” he wrote.

On Facebook, DJ and broadcaster Red Robinson said Jacks “lit up our lives at an early age with her CBC-TV ‘Let’s Go’ appearances, then her career with The Poppy Family and solo success. She’ll be missed by many.”

Susan was shown “immense kindness during her stays at Surrey Memorial Hospital,” the family stated. “The family would like to express gratitude to the nurses, doctors and other health-care workers who cared for her.

“A celebration of life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that any donations be made to the Kidney Foundation of Canada.”

CLICK HERE to read more about Jacks and her career on Wikipedia.



tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

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