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Susan Jacks

Susan Pesklevits, one of eight children, was born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. At the age of 7, Susan began singing on the local radio on Saturday afternoons.

When she was 9, her family moved to British Columbia where she sang in the school and church choirs and, by the time she turned 13, Susan was featured on her own radio show. Her first professional appearance on stage, at 14, was at a legion dance in Haney, British Columbia for which she was paid $1.

At 15, Susan auditioned for and became a regular performer on the national Canadian TV show "Music Hop". Over the next several years she made numerous appearances on national television shows as well as making live appearances throughout the Vancouver and surrounding areas.

In 1966, just having turned 18, Susan was asked to play at an Elks Club meeting in Hope, British Columbia. While searching for a rhythm guitar player to accompany her, a friend suggested that Terry Jacks may be available as his local group had disbanded.

Terry was available to accompany her and it was from this chance performance that the Poppy Family would evolve over the next few months. Craig McCaw was added as lead guitar player and he would introduce Satwant Singh to the group a year later. Terry and Susan married in 1967.

After two western Canada hits ("Beyond The Clouds" and "What Can The Matter Be"), The Poppy Family would hit gold worldwide with "Which Way You Goin' Billy?" in 1970. The group went on to release several other successful singles. By 1972, the name Poppy Family was dropped and Susan began to release songs under her own name. She left the marriage in 1973.

Susan’s first solo album, 'I Thought Of You Again', was released in 1973 and produced the singles "I Thought Of You Again" as well as "I Want You To Love Me" and “You Don’t Know What Love Is”.

In 1975, her album entitled “Dream” was released, producing successful singles including “Anna Marie” as well as “Love Has No Pride”. She took time off during the late 70s to have her son but returned to the studio and live performing in 1979.

In 1980 Susan recorded 'Ghosts' for CBS Records and was again nominated for a Juno award for “All The Tea in China” from that album. Other hits from the same album were "Evergreen" and "Fool Such As I". Susan continued to release several singles in the following two years and in 1982, hooked up with Bruce Allen Management and recorded the 'Forever' album.

Susan moved to Nashville in 1983 with husband CFL player Ted Dushinski and their son, Thad, after signing a recording contract with Compleat Entertainment, a Nashville based record label. With the 1984 release of “Another Woman’s Man” she was nominated for yet another Juno Award in Canada and was voted “Best New Female Country Artist” in Oklahoma.

When the label folded a couple of years later, Susan began to hone her songwriting skills and became a staff songwriter for a Nashville publishing company. She has had her songs recorded by several Canadian artists as well as having a song recorded on the Grammy nominated children’s album “A Child’s Gift of Lullabyes”.

In 2004, after Susan’s husband Ted was diagnosed with lung cancer, she and her family left Nashville, returning to the Northwest. After the passing of her husband in late 2005, Susan returned to music. She co-wrote a song for the Lifetime movie “Last Chance Café”, also making a guest appearance in the movie. She performed a number of concerts however her strength was deteriorating due to a diagnosis of kidney failure in 2004.

In 2009, Susan’s kidneys had all but totally failed and she was faced with either dialysis or a kidney transplant. Although Susan’s entire family offered to be tested as a potential match for the transplant, it was Susan’s brother Billy who was chosen. Billy’s name was used for her first big hit “Which Way You Goin’ Billy?”. The transplant was performed on February 17, 2010.

In June of 2010, Susan was inducted into the British Columbia Entertainment Hall of Fame. She has since performed a number of concerts to promote the need for organ donation and has also resumed touring.