Rock producer, music publisher and promoter Don Kirshner died on Monday (January 17th, 2011) of heart failure at his home in Boca Raton, Florida. He was 76 years old. From 1973 to 1981 Kirshner was the producer and host of Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert, which ran weekly on ABC, and was practically the only televised outlet for teenagers to see live rock bands in the time before MTV, VH1 or almost any kind of cable TV was even thought of.
I recall that Paul Schaffer used to do spot-on impersonations of Kirshner’s wooden, deadpan presentation style on Saturday Night Live, which were always hysterical. Also, Kirshner is responsible for creating The Monkees. And now he’s dead. RIP Don Kirshner!