Don Kirshner has passed away at the age of 76 due to heart failure.
Kirshner established his career in the music industry in the 1960s when he and Al Nevin founded the influential New York-based publishing company Aldon Music. The company, which was eventually bought by Columbia, went on to work with a number of songwriters including Neil Diamond, Carole King, Burt Bacharach, Gerry Coffin, Neil Sedaka and Laura Nyro.
In 1966, Kirshner managed the songwriting talent behind the popular television rock act The Monkees, and later for the bubblegum pop band The Archies. He also served as music consultant for shows such as Bewitched and I Dream of Jeannie.
In the 1970s, Kirshner hosted his signature TV show Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert on ABC, which included live performances by Kansas (who were “discovered” by Kirshner), Black Sabbath, David Bowie, The Rolling Stones, Fleetwood Mac, The Ramones, The Allman Brothers Band, Alice Cooper, Journey and Bachman-Turner Overdrive, among others. The show aired until 1981.
Kirshner was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2007.
He is survived by his wife, Sheila, two children and five grandchildren.