Michael Rashkow, the mind behind memorable advertising campaigns for Niatross, BG's Bunny, and other top horses syndicated by Lou Guida, died on Wednesday, Jan. 23 after a battle with cancer. He was 71.
Mr. Rashkow was born in New York City. He served in the U.S. Air Force as a psychiatric medic and then worked in the music business and became a golf professional. According to a wikipedia page about Mr. Rashkow, his entrée into the music business was via the recording studio and he became a recording engineer, working Bell Sound, Studio 76, Sounds On Broadway, National Recording and Broadway Recording. His first songwriting partner was Mikie Harris, background singer of the 1960s who was later assistant to John Hammond. Mr. Rashkow and Harris married in 1966 and had two children, Randy and Roger (Duke). They worked as a writing team for Pamco Music, the BMI of ABC-Paramount Records.
Mr. Rashkow began writing with his friend Johnny Cymbal, whom Rashkow had brought to ABC from Cymbal's previous staff position at South Mountain Music. They wrote "Mary in the Morning," which became a worldwide hit and in 2010 attained BMI's Two Million Performance status for radio airplay. Mr. Rashkow and Cymbal wrote numerous other songs including "Julie On My Mind" which became a hit in the Caribbean Islands and is popular among reggae enthusiasts.
Mr. Rashkow left the music business and went into advertising as a copywriter and creative director. In 1981 he formed his own advertising/graphic design firm, Two Minute Communications, specializing in marketing. Within two years, T:MC's work was appearing in major harness racing periodicals.
After changing the company's name to Group T:MC, Mr. Rashkow's client list expanded to include AT&T, ABB, Community Bank of New Jersey, Merrill Lynch, Maser Engineering, Schoor/DePalma and Langeveld Bulb Company.
In 1985, Mr. Rashkow was among the founders of New Era Bank, Somerset, New Jersey. He was elected to the board of directors and continued on until 1993, when the bank was sold. For five of those years, he served as vice chairman of the board and also directed the marketing for the bank's credit card division.
In 1998, Mr. Rashkow sold the advertising agency and for the next four years he and his second wife, Barbara, became full-time RV-ers. They stopped in Lexington, Ky., for the fall Grand Circuit meet several years ago, but otherwise spent their time in the Blue Ridge foothills of North Carolina, where he remained a regular contributor to the Spectropop music website.