Today’s Question: Steely Dan, The Doobie Brothers and solo singer and keyboardist Michael McDonald, celebrates his 66th birthday today (February 12th). McDonald co-wrote and sang the Doobies’ number-one hit “What a Fool Believes,” which won Song and Record of the Year Grammys in 1980. Who did he write it with?
Stumped? Here are some clues?
- This singer-songwriter became famous as the first name in a successful 1970s duo.
- The duo broke up after five years and he became more successful as a solo artist.
- His two biggest solo hits both came off mid-1980s movie soundtracks.
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2005-Led Zeppelin is honored at L.A.’s Biltmore Hotel with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Recording Academy. Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones are joined by the late John Bonham‘s son Jason and daughter Zoe. Robert Plant sends his apologies via video.
1981-Deborah Harry confirms that she’s making a solo album without Blondie.
1980-Fleetwood Mac‘s Tusk is certified platinum as it reaches the one-million-mark in sales.
1977-The original Police with guitarist Henry Padovani, who is later replaced by Andy Summers record their first single, “Fall Out,” in London.
1976-In their first prestige gig, The Sex Pistols open up for Eddie and the Hot Rods at London’s Marquee Club. Afterwards, Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones utters the classic line, “We’re not into music, we’re into chaos.”
1972-Yes releases “Roundabout.”
1969-Neil Young plays his first show backed by Crazy Horse, at The Bitter End in New York, opening a six-night stand.
1968-Jimi Hendrix returns home to Seattle. While there, he performs at Garfield High School, from which he dropped out, and receives a key to the city.
1967-Police raid Keith Richards’ home in Sussex, England, where they find “various substances of a suspicious nature.”
1964-The Beatles play two concerts at Carnegie Hall. The New York Times’ review of the second performance says the three-thousand fans in the audience gave the show and that the Beatles served merely as their accompanists.
Michael McDonald – 66 years old
The St. Louis-born singer-keyboardist followed his guitarist pal Jeff Baxter from Steely Dan to The Doobie Brothers. By 1976, he was the band’s key force, on tracks like “What a Fool Believes” (a number-one hit that won the 1979 Record of the Year Grammy). After going solo in the ’80s, McDonald reached the Top 10 with “I Keep Forgettin'” and “Sweet Freedom.” “On My Own,” a 1986 duet with Patti LaBelle, was another chart-topper. He became a headliner again with his million-selling Motown remakes CD in 2003 and Motown II a year later. Born 1952.
Steve Hackett – 68 years old
Solo/ex-Genesis guitarist. Born 1950.
Ray Manzarek – Died in 2013
The keyboardist, a Chicago native, formed The Doors with a former UCLA film school classmate, Jim Morrison. Their moody and electrifying sound brought number-one hits with “Light My Fire” and “Touch Me.” Manzarek, who also had success as a solo artist and a record producer for hire, was on hand at The Doors’ 1993 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He died of bile duct cancer at age 74 on May 20th, 2013. Born 1939.