Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Don Kirshner (1934-2011)

News has just crossed the wires reporting the passing of music impresario Don Kirshner at 76.

Kirshner was the brains behind two of the best known made-for-TV bands of the 60's, The Monkees & the Archies. In addition, Kirshner was employed by Screen Gems (the studio that produced The Monkees) as a music consultant for some of their other sitcoms of the period, including Bewitched. After the Archies became a Saturday morning staple for CBS & Filmation, Kirshner went to Hanna-Barbera and served as a music supervisor for Josie & the Pussycats, Harlem Globetrotters, and the 2nd season of Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?.

In the mid-70's, Kirshner moved in front of the cameras to host and produce the syndicated Don Kirshner's Rock Concert, which lasted until 1982, but not before Kirshner was famously spoofed on Saturday Night Live by Paul Shaffer (Late Show With David Letterman). The Shaffer-as-Kirshner skits became pop culture legend, just like the man himself.

Kirshner was also instrumental in the development of Bobby Darin's career. According to the Yahoo! News article, Darin and Sandra Dee were married in Kirshner's apartment. However, Darin & Kirshner had a falling out professionally some time later. Kirshner had largely been out of the public eye since the end of his Rock Concert series, but with his passing, an era in music has come to a close.

Rest in peace, Don.

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