Don Kirshner, the music industry impresario who established the Brill Building group of songwriters in the Sixties and later hosted a weekly live music television program called Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert, has died at the age of 76.
Kirshner began his career as a jingle writer, but eventually found himself working behind the scenes as the head of the publishing company Aldon. At Aldon, Kirshner brought together the group of songwriters — including Neil Sedaka, Carole King, Gerry Goffin, Burt Bacharach, Neil Diamond and Laura Nyro — who would become known as the Brill Building.
In the late Sixties, Kirshner worked as a producer and was responsible for turning out new songs for every episode of The Monkees television series. He did the same work for The Archies, another pop act created for TV.
For most of the Seventies, Kirshner hosted Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert, a television series that included live performances by the Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Steely Dan, Fleetwood Mac, Black Sabbath, Devo and the Ramones, among many others.