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Rock-Olga in 1959
Background information
Birth nameBirgit Jacobsson
Also known asRock-Olga
Born(1940-03-16)16 March 1940 [1]
Gävle, Sweden [1]
Died10 June 2010(2010-06-10) (aged 70)
Borås, Sweden [2]
Genres Rock
Occupation(s) Singer
Instruments Guitar
Years active1958–2010
Associated actsHafvsbandet, Rockfolket, Trio med Olga

Birgit Magnusson (née Jacobsson, 16 March 1940 – 10 June 2010), known by the stage name Rock-Olga, was a Swedish singer. She was one of Sweden's first rock musicians during the 1950s. She won her stage name via a bet with another singer who used the same name. She was a founding member of two bands, Trio med Olga and Hafvsbandet.



At the beginning of her career, in 1958, she was working as a warden at Ulleråkers sjukhus, a mental institution and hospital, where she used to play her guitar during breaks to entertain her colleagues. [1] Her friends entered her in a talent competition called Ungdom med ton (English: Youth with tones). Rock-Olga performed a cover of the 1957 Micki Marlo Paul Anka duet "What You've Done to Me" and won the competition. [1] The song also became her first hit and made her one of the first rock stars in Sweden. [3] At the time, another singer known as Stockholms-Olga also used the stage name Rock-Olga. [4] The two artists made a bet with each other, that whichever of them won a significant song competition would also have exclusive right to the stage name. [1]

After winning the song competition, Jacobsson travelled to Stockholm with her father, hoping to perform at the popular Nalens dance hall. She would later recall her father talking with the manager of Nalens, Topsy Lindblom, who first stated that "lots of daughters can sing", but then relented and asked her to come in when Jacobsson's father stated "Yes but she can sing rock". [1] Her first performance at Nalens caused the resident rock band members to leave their dressing rooms to watch the performance, something that had never happened before. [1] Her solo career peaked in the early part of the 1960s. In 1968, she started her own danceband called Trio med Olga ("Trio with Olga"). [1]

During the 1970s and the 1980s, she was one of the founding members of the rock and gammaldans band Hafvsbandet along with her husband Lars-Christer Magnusson and others. [4] [5] Both prior to and after her time in Hafvsbandet, Rock-Olga performed with another rock band called Rockfolket ("The Rock People"). [6]

In 1972, she recorded an album called Rock Olga Today with three members of the fledgling, soon-to-be-named pop group ABBA: Benny Andersson on piano, Agnetha Fältskog and Anni-Frid Lyngstad as backing vocals. [4] She also participated in Allsång på Skansen ( Sing-along at Skansen), which was broadcast on Sveriges Television in 2008. [6] In later years, she still travelled across Sweden performing as many as 30 concerts per year, usually at retirement homes where "What You've Done to Me" was always part of her set. [1]


Rock-Olga developed a fever after performing at Gröna Lund on 8 May 2010, and was subsequently diagnosed with blood poisoning from a cut on her toe. She died from complications on 10 June 2010. [3]

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  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 ""Rock-Olga" fyller 65 år" ['Rock-Olga' turns 65]. Helsingborgs Dagblad (in Swedish). 16 March 2005. Retrieved 7 September 2016.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. "Rock-Olga har avlidit" [Rock-Olga has died]. Sveriges Radio (in Swedish). 11 June 2010. Retrieved 28 September 2016.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. 1 2 "Rock-Olga död - somnade in efter svår blodförgiftning" [Rock-Olga dead - Passed in her sleep after severe blood poisoning]. Expressen (in Swedish). 11 June 2010. Retrieved 24 September 2016.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. 1 2 3 "Rock-Olga är död" [Rock-Olga's is dead]. Aftonbladet (in Swedish). 11 June 2010. Retrieved 7 September 2016.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. "Poesiboken / Hafvsbandet" (in Swedish). Svensk Mediedatabas. Retrieved 24 September 2016.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. 1 2 "'Burkens' kropp orkade inte längre" [Burken's body could not make it any longer]. Aftonbladet (in Swedish). 8 April 2011. Retrieved 7 September 2016.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

Further reading