Quiz about Musicians Who Died in February
Quiz about Musicians Who Died in February

Musicians Who Died in February Quiz


A quiz about legendary musicians who have passed away during the first two weeks of February over 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 #
310,824
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
7 / 10
Plays
2571
Awards
Top 5% quiz!
Last 3 plays: Guest 74 (6/10), Guest 76 (9/10), Hayes1953 (7/10).
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. Ritchie Valens, Buddy Holly and The Big Bopper died in a plane crash on February 3, 1959. in which state did the plane crash occur? Hint

Wisconsin
Minnesota
Idaho
Iowa

2. Johann (Hans) Holzel died on February 6th, 1998 when his car was involved in a collision with a bus in The Dominican Republic. Known for his hit song "Rock Me Amadeus", what was his stage name? Hint

Nilsson
Usher
Falco
Paco

3. Which singer, who co-wrote and had a Number Seven R&B hit with "Goodnight My Love", died with his wife in a head-on crash in Hope, Arkansas, at the age of 27 on February 6th, 1960? Hint

Brook Benton
Alex Chilton
Jesse Belvin
Screamin' Jay Hawkins

4. On February 9th, 1981, the front man of the fifties Rock and Roll group The Comets passed away of a heart attack at the age of 55. Who fronted the Comets? Hint

Bill Haley
Hank Ballard
Eddie Cochran
Frankie Lyman

5. On February 6th, 1981, the artist who had a 1968 Number Two hit in the USA with the theme to "The Good, The Bad & The Ugly" passed away from complications of emphysema. What is the name of this orchestra leader and composer? Hint

Mongo Santamaria
Billy Vaughn
Percy Faith
Hugo Montenegro

6. Karen Carpenter was only 32 when she passed away on February 4th, 1983. What condition did she suffer from that led to her early death? Hint

diabetes
anorexia nervosa
drug addiction
alcoholism

7. On February 3rd, 1967, British songwriter and producer Joe Meek took his life. Among his many credits is producing the first US Number One Billboard hit by a British group. Which song had that distinction? Hint

Have I the Right?
Johnny Remember Me
You Don't Have To Be A Baby To Cry
Telstar

8. Rudy Pompilli was a member of Bill Haley's Comets for 19 years, until he passed away February 5th, 1976. He had an instrumental hit with the band called "Rudy's Rock". Which instrument was Rudy known for playing? Hint

Trumpet
Saxophone
Trombone
Tuba

9. On February 8th, 1990, the artist who recorded such hits as "Runaway" and "Hats off to Larry" died as a result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Which artist sang these 1960s classics? Hint

Freddy Cannon
Ray Peterson
Del Shannon
Bruce Channel

10. On February 6th, 1998, 51-year-old Carl Wilson of The Beach Boys died of lung cancer. Which instrument did Carl play in the band? Hint

Drums
Saxophone
Bass
Lead guitar


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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Ritchie Valens, Buddy Holly and The Big Bopper died in a plane crash on February 3, 1959. in which state did the plane crash occur?

Answer: Iowa

The "Winter Dance Party" tour had performed at The Riverside Ballroom in Green Bay, Wisconsin, before performing at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa. The engagement was not originally a scheduled date on the tour, but had been added at the last minute. Dion and the Belmonts, Ritchie Valens, Buddy Holly and The Big Bopper were part of the lineup. After the show ended, Buddy Holly chartered a Beechcraft to take them to their next show at an Armory in Moorhead, Minnesota.

Originally the plane was to take three of Buddy Holly's band members to Wisconsin. Waylon Jennings was Holly's bass player but gave up his seat to The Big Bopper because he had the flu. Guitar player Tommy Allsup flipped a coin with Ritchie Valens and Valens won the toss. Buddy's drummer, Carl Bunch, was recovering from frostbite and had not been scheduled to take the plane. Holly, Valens, The Big Bopper and pilot Roger Peterson died upon impact at the crash site a few miles from Clear Lake, Iowa.
2. Johann (Hans) Holzel died on February 6th, 1998 when his car was involved in a collision with a bus in The Dominican Republic. Known for his hit song "Rock Me Amadeus", what was his stage name?

Answer: Falco

"Der Kommissar" and "Jeanny" were other hits by Johann (Hans) Holzel under the name of Falco. While playing in bands in West Germany he reportedly took the stage name Falco as a tribute to a ski jumper named Falko Weispflog. Before becoming a solo artist Falco played with Spinning Wheel and Hallucination Company.

He was also a bassist for the Austrian rock band Drahdiwaberl. He recorded "Rock Me Amadeus" in 1986. The song reached Number One in over 12 countries. After a string of hits his 1992 album, "Titanic," won awards but didn't chart in the US.

He was a couple of weeks shy of his 41st birthday at the time of his crash and was buried in his native Vienna. Usher Raymond IV rose to success in the nineties. "Puttin' On The Ritz" was a hit by Paco and Harry Edward Nilsson III had several hits including "Everybody's Talkin'" and "Without You".
3. Which singer, who co-wrote and had a Number Seven R&B hit with "Goodnight My Love", died with his wife in a head-on crash in Hope, Arkansas, at the age of 27 on February 6th, 1960?

Answer: Jesse Belvin

In addition to co-writing "Goodnight My Love", Jesse Belvin also was a co-author of "Earth Angel", a hit for the Penguins in 1955. Belvin began his singing career as a member of Three Dots and a Dash. He signed with Specialty Records and after after a few unsuccessful releases he enjoyed a hit with "Dream Girl" in 1953. Belvin signed a contract with Modern Records in 1956 and recorded "Goodnight My Love". DJ Alan Freed used the song as the closing theme to his radio show. Belvin had finished performing at the first integrated concert in Little Rock, Arkansas, shortly before the head-on collision in Hope. Alex Chilton sang "The Letter" with The Box Tops in 1967 when he was only 16.

He later enjoyed a long career with several bands. Jalacy "Screamin' Jay" Hawkins was known for an energetic stage act and the hit "I Put A Spell on You".

He was 70 when he passed away on February 12, 2000. Brook Benton scored several hit in the fifties and sixties and died April 9, 1988 at the age of 56.
4. On February 9th, 1981, the front man of the fifties Rock and Roll group The Comets passed away of a heart attack at the age of 55. Who fronted the Comets?

Answer: Bill Haley

Bill Haley became known as the "Father of Rock and Roll" after his hit song, "Rock Around the Clock" was released in 1954. He began his professional career in the early forties as a guitarist and yodeler for various bands. After he became an experienced front man he formed several groups and in 1952 he changed the name of his band from the Saddlemen to Bill Haley with Haley's Comets.

The following year the band released "Crazy Man, Crazy", a song written by Haley and his bass player. In 1954 Haley recorded the Max C. Freedman/James E. Myers composition, "Rock Around the Clock".

The song was not initially successful but when it was included on the soundtrack of the 1955 film, "Blackboard Jungle", it gained national attention. Haley's last performance was in mid-1980 in South Africa.

He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987. Eddie Cochran recorded with Hank Cochran as The Cochran Brothers although Hank was not related to him. Hank Ballard fronted the Midnighters and Frankie Lyman sang for the Teenagers.
5. On February 6th, 1981, the artist who had a 1968 Number Two hit in the USA with the theme to "The Good, The Bad & The Ugly" passed away from complications of emphysema. What is the name of this orchestra leader and composer?

Answer: Hugo Montenegro

New York native Hugo Montenegro was an arranger for the Newport Naval Base band before studying composition at Manhattan College and fronting his own bands for local dances. He soon got work for several labels directing hits for artists such as Dion and the Belmonts and producing soundtracks for films and television shows.

He was contracted by Columbia Pictures where he scored such films as "Hurry Sundown" and Matt Helm movies. He did several of the Clint Eastwood Spaghetti Western themes but had his biggest hit with the Ennio Morricone composition of "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly".

He began experimenting with electronic synthesizer music before emphysema slowed his career in the seventies. Grammy Hall of Fame inductee Mongo Santamaria had a 1963 hit with "Watermelon Man". Percy Faith had a 1960 hit with "Theme from A Summer Place". Billy Vaughn was an arranger for Dot Records and had a hit with "Melody of Love" in 1954.
6. Karen Carpenter was only 32 when she passed away on February 4th, 1983. What condition did she suffer from that led to her early death?

Answer: anorexia nervosa

Anorexia nervosa was a relatively unknown problem when Karen began displaying the symptoms. She began as a drummer but her vocal talents soon put her in front of the Carpenters, a band formed with her brother, Richard, an accomplished pianist. Their 1970 A&M album, "Close to You", contained a pair of hit singles titled "(They Long to Be) Close to You" and "We've Only Just Begun". They began releasing more hits but took a break in 1979 when Richard required a cure for his dependency on quaaludes.

Karen embarked on a solo album project and began battling the symptoms of anorexia. She married developer Thomas James Burris in 1980 but divorced the following year. Karen suffered heart failure at her parents' home. Her death brought national attention to the problems associated with anorexia and bulimia. The Carpenters received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame six months after Karen passed away.
7. On February 3rd, 1967, British songwriter and producer Joe Meek took his life. Among his many credits is producing the first US Number One Billboard hit by a British group. Which song had that distinction?

Answer: Telstar

"Telstar" came out in 1962, a couple of years before The Beatles spearheaded the British Invasion. Three solo artists had placed hit songs on the US Billboard charts before the Tornados, but they were the first British group to accomplish the feat. Joe Meek recorded the song in a studio situated above a London shop. The instrument that created the unique sound was a clavioline. The Tornados was a band that consisted of several of Joe Meek's house musicians.

Joe also produced numerous British artists including The Honeycombs, who enjoyed a US hit with "Have I the Right?". "Johnny Remember Me" by John Leyton was a Meek production. He took his life exactly 8 years to the day after Buddy Holly's plane crash. "You Don't Have To Be A Baby To Cry" was a 1963 US Number Three single by the British girl group The Caravelles.
8. Rudy Pompilli was a member of Bill Haley's Comets for 19 years, until he passed away February 5th, 1976. He had an instrumental hit with the band called "Rudy's Rock". Which instrument was Rudy known for playing?

Answer: Saxophone

Pompilli was a saxophone player who was also skilled on the clarinet. He worked with jazz bands before joining Haley. He was asked to join in the fall of 1955 when sax player Joey Ambrose and two other members of The Comets formed The Jodimars. Ambrose taught Pompilli the style and the stage routine he used with Haley. He became a prominent member of the band and was featured on a show-stopping solo called "Rudy's Rock", which was featured on the soundtrack for "Blackboard Jungle" (1955).

As time went on Rudy assumed the duties of road manager and hiring musicians when needed. He also enjoyed a solo career when Haley wasn't touring. Pompilli and Haley were close friends and when Pompilli died from lung cancer in 1976 Haley retired from the business for three years. Rudy was not a smoker, but it was believed that the second-hand smoke from band members may have contributed to his cancer.
9. On February 8th, 1990, the artist who recorded such hits as "Runaway" and "Hats off to Larry" died as a result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Which artist sang these 1960s classics?

Answer: Del Shannon

Del Shannon was born Charles Westover in Michigan. He played guitar in bands while in the service and upon release he worked in a furniture and carpet store and performed in local nightspots in the evenings. When Westover and his friend Max Crook signed with Big Top Records as recording artists and composers the manager suggested Westover change his name. After a couple of unsuccessful releases Del re-worked a song he had written with Max called "Little Runaway" and released it as "Runaway", with Max Crook playing a solo on a Musitron. The song became an instant hit and has endured as a classic.

He followed up with several other Top Forty Hits and also had a hit with the Beatles tune, "From Me to You", before the Beatles charted the song in the US. "Runaway" was later re-recorded for the theme song to the 1986 "Crime Story" television series. Upon the death of Roy Orbison, Del Shannon was being considered as a replacement in The Traveling Wilburys but his recurring bouts with depression led to his death from a self-inflicted gunshot before he could join the group. He was 55 years old.
10. On February 6th, 1998, 51-year-old Carl Wilson of The Beach Boys died of lung cancer. Which instrument did Carl play in the band?

Answer: Lead guitar

Guitar player Carl Wilson was the youngest of the three Wilson brothers and the second to pass away. Beach Boys drummer Dennis Wilson was only 39 when he drowned on December 28th, 1983. Carl played lead on most of the early Beach Boys hits and sang lead on some early album cuts, but after his 1966 rendition of "God Only Knows" he gradually assumed more singing duties on songs such as "I Can Hear Music" and "Good Vibrations". By the early eighties the Beach Boys had become fragmented and Carl released a solo album simply titled "Carl Wilson". The project did not receive critical acclaim.

By the mid-eighties the band had reformed and Carl sang the chorus to their 1988 hit, "Kokomo". He was diagnosed with cancer in 1997 but continued to tour with the band, playing while seated and often needing oxygen. He completed the 1997 tour and passed away the following February, two months after his mom died.
Source: Author shanteyman

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