Quiz about Musicians From The Big Apple
Quiz about Musicians From The Big Apple

Musicians From The Big Apple Trivia Quiz


Billy Joel, Cyndi Lauper and Mariah Carey are some of the greats who were born in New York. This quiz is about some of the other bands, musicians and singers who came from New York through the years.

A multiple-choice quiz by shanteyman. Estimated time: 4 mins.
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Author
shanteyman
Time
4 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
295,719
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
8 / 10
Plays
2384
Awards
Top 5% quiz!
Last 3 plays: Guest 174 (7/10), Guest 75 (1/10), Guest 174 (10/10).
This quiz has 2 formats: you can play it as a or as shown below.
Scroll down to the bottom for the answer key.
1. KISS formed in the early seventies in New York City. Which founding member of the band, who plays the bass, is not a New York native? Hint

Gene Simmons
Paul Stanley
Peter Criss
Ace Frehley

2. Which composer of such classics as "Rhapsody in Blue" and "An American in Paris" was born into a Ukrainian immigrant family in Brooklyn? Hint

Count Basie
Irving Berlin
George Gershwin
Cole Porter

3. "Because of You" was the first hit for which Queens, New York native, who later left his heart in San Francisco? Hint

Tony Bennett
Bing Crosby
Perry Como
Frank Sinatra

4. Which Greenwich Village-born songwriter and singer had hits with "Taxi" and "Cat's in the Cradle" in the early seventies and is known for his humanitarian work? Hint

Richie Havens
Harry Chapin
Kenny Vance
Doc Pomus

5. Which New-York born guitar player was a founding member of Steely Dan? Hint

Walter Becker
Felix Cavaliere
Keith Barbour
Bruce Kulick

6. Which Brooklyn-born sixties pop singer had a string of pop hits including "Oh Carol", "Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen" and "Breaking Up Is Hard to Do"? Hint

Freddie Cannon
Neil Sedaka
Gene Pitney
Frankie Avalon

7. Which band that formed in 1972 in New York City features Dee Snider as the front man and has had hits with "We're Not Gonna Take It" and "I Wanna Rock"? Hint

Motley Crue
Twisted Sister
Queensryche
New York Dolls

8. Which band formed at State University of New York at Stony Brook in the seventies and released their "Agents of Fortune" LP in 1976 which contained "(Don't Fear)The Reaper"? Hint

Vanilla Fudge
Blue Oyster Cult
The Good Rats
The Ramones

9. Which singer was born in New York and gave up his job as a police officer to begin a music career? He charted such classics as "Baby Hold On" and "Two Tickets to Paradise". Hint

Eddie Money
Lou Reed
Brian Setzer
Bryan Adams

10. Which singer was born in Greenwich Village and formed The Lovin' Spoonful in the sixties with Zal Yanovsky, Joe Butler and Steve Boone? As a solo artist he wrote and sang the TV show theme "Welcome Back, Kotter". Hint

Roger McGuinn
Bob Grill
David Crosby
John Sebastian


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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. KISS formed in the early seventies in New York City. Which founding member of the band, who plays the bass, is not a New York native?

Answer: Gene Simmons

Paul Stanley was born Stanley Harvey Eisen was born in Queens, New York. Paul Daniel "Ace" Frehley is from the Bronx and George Peter John Criscuola, who took the name Peter Criss, is from Brooklyn. Gene Simmons was born Chaim Witz in Haifa, Israel. Simmons and Stanley began performing together in a group called Wicked Lester.

They recorded one unreleased album before breaking up. KISS was founded when Peter Criss and Ace Frehley joined Gene and Paul. According to Simmons in the KISS video "Exposed", he came up with the name KISS when Peter told them he was once in a band called Lips.

Their debut performance was in January, 1973, at the Popcorn Club. Not long afterward they began recording their first album for Casablanca, "KISS", and followed this up with a tour, kicking off in the city of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

After the release of the "Live" album in 1975 there was no looking back for the band in makeup.
2. Which composer of such classics as "Rhapsody in Blue" and "An American in Paris" was born into a Ukrainian immigrant family in Brooklyn?

Answer: George Gershwin

Jacob Gershowitz was the name given to George Gershwin when he came into the world in Brooklyn, just before the turn of the century. As a teen-aged high school dropout, he began working in various jobs for a music publishing company. He began composing his own material and his early successes included "Rialto Ripples" and "Swanee".

In the early twenties he collaborated with his brother, Ira, to write music for a comedy called "Lady Be Good". "Fascinating Rhythm" and "Lady Be Good" are two Gershwin songs that have become classics.

He followed with "Rhapsody in Blue" and "An American in Paris". In 1935 he composed the score to "Porgy and Bess". His only Oscar was for "They Can't take that Away from Me", from the score for "Shall We Dance". The Oscar was awarded after he passed away at the young age of 38 from a brain tumor. Irving Berlin is a Russian immigrant, Porter is from Indiana and William "Count" Basie was born in Red bank, New Jersey.
3. "Because of You" was the first hit for which Queens, New York native, who later left his heart in San Francisco?

Answer: Tony Bennett

Anthony Dominick Benedetto, better known as singer Tony Bennett, was born in Astoria and was a war hero during WWII. After taking part in the liberation of concentration camps at the end of the war he ended up in Special Services entertaining troops. He studied singing under the GI Bill and Pearl Bailey heard him perform one night, which set his career in motion.

By the early fifties "Rags to Riches" had become his third number one record. He continued to refine his singing technique and worked with many of the jazz greats as backing musicians.

In 1962 he released "I Left My Heart in San Francisco". The song only reached number 19 on the charts, but remained on the charts for a long time, becoming synonymous with Bennett. The British Invasion put his pop career into a brief downward spin, but he persevered, started gaining a new audience and performed into his eighties. Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, is the hometown of Perry Como. Crosby is from Tacoma, Washington, and Sinatra is famous for coming from Hoboken, New Jersey.
4. Which Greenwich Village-born songwriter and singer had hits with "Taxi" and "Cat's in the Cradle" in the early seventies and is known for his humanitarian work?

Answer: Harry Chapin

After singing in a choir growing up in Brooklyn, Harry Chapin had aspirations to be a documentary film producer. After producing a documentary that received an Academy Award nomination, Harry put a group together and started performing locally. By 1972 he had released a solo album titled "Heads and Tales". "Taxi" was released as a single and reached number 24 on the charts. Two years later "Cat's in the Cradle" reached number one for Harry.

In July, 1981, Chapin died following a traffic accident.

A biography entitled "Taxi: The Harry Chapin Story" was written by Peter M. Coan. The Chapin estate disputes the accuracy of some aspects the book. Chapin was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal after his death for his efforts on behalf of world hunger. Richie Havens is from Brooklyn, Kenny Vance was an original member of Jay and the Americans and songwriter Doc Pomus is also a Brooklyn native.
5. Which New-York born guitar player was a founding member of Steely Dan?

Answer: Walter Becker

Walter Becker met New Jersey native Donald Fagen while attending Bard College in New York. After trying to make a dent in New York as songwriters they relocated to California after being offered a job by ABC records as staff writers. Their music was not considered mainstream, so they founded Steely Dan with some studio musicians and elected to record their own material.

In 1972 they released the "Can't Buy A Thrill" album. "Do It Again", "Dirty Work" and "Reelin' In the Years" became chart successes and the duo followed with more tightly-produced hit albums.

The duo assembled a band to perform on the road, preferring to work in the studio. They officially disbanded in 1981 but have reunited on a number of occasions. Honorary Doctorate of Music degrees from Berklee were awarded to Fagen and Becker in 2001. New York City native Keith Barbour was in The New Christy Minstrels. New Yorker Felix Cavaliere was a founding member of the Young Rascals and Big Apple-born Bruce Kulick has worked with KISS and Grand Funk Railroad.
6. Which Brooklyn-born sixties pop singer had a string of pop hits including "Oh Carol", "Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen" and "Breaking Up Is Hard to Do"?

Answer: Neil Sedaka

Neil Sedaka received a musical scholarship to The Julliard School of Music as a teen and is an accomplished pianist. While still in his teens he met fellow songwriter Howard Greenfield and they began a collaborative effort as songwriters. After working in the Brill Building with other up-and-coming songwriters Neil decided to record some of the Sedaka/Greenfield material himself.

In 1959 "Oh Carol" reached number nine. He promptly followed up with several hits, until the British Invasion put the brakes on the careers of many American artists.

In the seventies he emerged as more of a ballad singer and wrote "Love Will Keep Us Together" for The Captain and Tennille as well as other hits for various artists. "Laughter in the Rain: My Own Story" was penned by Sedaka. Cannon is from Massachusetts, Pitney is from Connecticut and Frankie Avalon hails from Pennsylvania.
7. Which band that formed in 1972 in New York City features Dee Snider as the front man and has had hits with "We're Not Gonna Take It" and "I Wanna Rock"?

Answer: Twisted Sister

Twisted Sister formed in 1972 and played local clubs around New York without drawing any attention for four years. In 1976 they brought Snider in as songwriter and front man. They kept their glam rock persona but developed a hard rock edge to their material. With Dee's powerful stage presence the band began playing larger venues and in 1982 got a record deal in the UK.

When their third album, "Stay Hungry" was released, the band garnered national attention, got their videos in MTV rotation and an emerging band called Metallica opened for them on tour.

In 1987 the band took a 10-year hiatus then reformed to do a concert with fellow New-Yorker Ace Frehley, and a cast of heavy metal bands to do a benefit concert for the families of public safety officers who were effected by the attacks on the World Trade Center.

They continue to do occasional concerts and benefits.
8. Which band formed at State University of New York at Stony Brook in the seventies and released their "Agents of Fortune" LP in 1976 which contained "(Don't Fear)The Reaper"?

Answer: Blue Oyster Cult

The Blue Oyster Cult formed during the year of The Summer of Love as Soft White Underbelly and performed for close to ten years before they broke out with "(Don't Fear) The Reaper" and the 1981 hit, "Burnin' for You". In 1971 they changed their name. The following year they released the "Blue Oyster Cult" album and toured with The Byrds, Alice Cooper and a number of bands.

In 1975 they released a live album, "On Your Feet or on Your Knees". The following year "Don't Fear the Reaper" was released as a single from "Agents of Fortune" and reached number 12.

Despite an occasional membership change, the band continued to tour into the nineties, known for their improvised lengthy solos. A SNL parody concerning the band and the use of cowbell was done in 2000.

The Ramones, Vanilla Fudge and The Good Rats are all New York based bands.
9. Which singer was born in New York and gave up his job as a police officer to begin a music career? He charted such classics as "Baby Hold On" and "Two Tickets to Paradise".

Answer: Eddie Money

After resigning the NYPD, Money headed to LA and began working the club circuit until he was able to land a record deal. In the seventies he released "Baby Hold On" and "Two Tickets to Paradise". By the beginning of the eighties, Eddie had videos on MTV for "Shakin'" and "Think I'm In Love".

In 1986 he did a memorable duet with Ronnie Spector, "Take me Home Tonight". He continued cranking out albums, and in 2000 he recorded a live album called "Complete Eddie Money Live". Eddie's daughter, Jessica, accompanies her dad in concert and sings Ronnie Spector's part when they perform "Take Me Home Tonight". Money continues to do over 50 shows a year. Massapequa, Long Island, is the hometown of Brian Setzer. Lou Reed of the Velvet Underground called Brooklyn home. Bryan Adams is Canadian.
10. Which singer was born in Greenwich Village and formed The Lovin' Spoonful in the sixties with Zal Yanovsky, Joe Butler and Steve Boone? As a solo artist he wrote and sang the TV show theme "Welcome Back, Kotter".

Answer: John Sebastian

Sebastian grew up around legendary musicians and grew to be a harmonica and guitar player. During the British Invasion few bands were able to maintain chart success. The Lovin' Spoonful managed to chart several hits during the mid-sixties such as "Summer in the City" and "Do You Believe in Magic?".

The band was rocked by a drug scandal in which Sebastian was not involved, but by 1968 he had left the band and embarked on a solo career. In 1969 he made an unscheduled appearance following Country Joe and the Fish at Woodstock.

He did reunite with the original band to appear in "One Trick Pony". He played the harmonica on "Roadhouse Blues" for the Doors under the name of G. Puglese and under his own name for CSN's "Deja Vu" album. The Lovin' Spoonful was inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000. Roger McGuinn and David Crosby are founding members of the Byrds and Bob Grill was an original member of The Grassroots.
Source: Author shanteyman

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