Richard Delvy, 67, who began his musical career as a drummer for the early instrumental surf band the Bel-Airs and went on to become a musical director, songwriter, producer and publisher, died Feb. 6 of aspiration pneumonia at West Hills Hospital and Medical Center, his wife, Bonnie, said.
He lived in Westlake Village.
The Bel-Airs were a South Bay band formed in 1961 by guitarist Paul Johnson, pianist Jim Roberts, saxophonist Chaz Stewart, guitarist Eddie Bertrand and Delvy. They had a hit with the driving instrumental single "Mr. Moto" before breaking up in 1963. By that time Delvy had moved on to another local surf band, the Challengers.
Gravitating to the business end of music, he began producing records and secured the publishing rights to the Surfaris' classic surf tunes "Wipe Out" and "Surfer Joe."
When David Cassidy went on tour, Delvy became musical director for the teen idol, playing drums and directing the band.
He was a producer for the Chambers Brothers and wrote music for TV shows including "Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids."
Delvy was born April 20, 1942, in Bridgeport, Conn., and moved to Los Angeles with his family as a teenager.
Phil Harris, a crab boat captain made famous on a Discovery Channel reality show, the "Deadliest Catch," died Tuesday in Anchorage, where he was flown for treatment after suffering a stroke last month at a remote Alaska port. The skipper of the Cornelia Marie was 53.
Francine Neff, U.S. treasurer from 1974 to 1977 and a national Republican Party activist for decades, died Tuesday of heart failure at her home in Pena Blanca, N.M., according to the Albuquerque Journal. She was 84.
-- times staff and wire reports