Submitted by Don Graham
The Susan Jacks story is more than just The Poppy Family and her solo singing career; it’s a story of courage, survival and determination.
Rewind to the beginning of the story and a young Susan Pesklevits, who had moved to British Columbia from Saskatchewan, begins her professional career at 15 when she was asked to be a regular performer on the national Canadian television show, MusicHop. Susan recorded her first singles as part of a trio with Howie Vickers and Tom Northcott, recording under the name of "The Eternal Triangle". Going solo in 1966 an 18 year old Susan was in need of a guitar player. “Somebody told me that the band Terry Jacks was in had broken up so he might be available. We got together and Terry and I started working. Terry wasn’t a lead guitarist so we hired Craig McCaw as our lead player.” Although she did a few more solo TV appearances, Susan decided to leave that behind and left the "Eternal Triangle", putting all her time into the newly formed trio, performing under the name "Powerline" before changing the name to "The Poppy Family".Susan and Terry got married in 1967. Craig McCaw introduced Satwant Singh,who played tablas,to the group and he soon became a member of the band.
The Poppy Family recorded from 1968 through the early 70’s with a couple of big hits, the biggest of which was “Which Way You Going Billy?” Susans remembers, “ When Terry first brought the song it was called “Which Way You Going Buddy” written for a male to sing. I thought it sounded kind of wussy singing it to another male, ‘which way you going buddy, can I come with you?’ I suggested it would be better for a female to sing it to a male. We couldn’t decide on a name so we went through my brothers names, I have 6 of them. And Billy sounded the best. And that’s how the title became what it is.” The song went on to sell nearly 4 million copies worldwide,and hit #1 in Canada and # 1 in Cashbox Magazine in the United States. "That's Where I Went Wrong" and "Where Evil...