Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Classic TV: Don Kirshner's Rock Concert (1973)

After years of being a record producer and music supervisor for TV (i.e. The Monkees, The Archies), Don Kirshner stepped in front of the cameras with his own syndicated Rock Concert, which launched in 1973, and ran for 8 seasons, ending in 1981. Kirshner served as host and executive producer up until the final season (1980-1). His vocal delivery, described as flat by critics, was parodied by Paul Shaffer on Saturday Night Live. Prior to Rock Concert, Kirshner had produced ABC's In Concert series, so he'd already broken ground in trying to compete with NBC's Midnight Special.

Depending on where you lived, the show aired on either Friday or Saturday nights, and in some cities, it would wind up going opposite SNL after it launched in 1975.

To give you an idea, here's a clip from 1980 with Pat Benatar performing her one of her first hits, "Heartbreaker":

Oh, I'm sure the little boys got excited seeing Pat in leotards & hose, but you have to remember she was already spoken for (married to guitarist Neal Geraldo), shattering the dreams of millions of teenage boys.

Producer Andrew Solt (ex-The Ed Sullivan Show) owns the rights to Don Kirshner's Rock Concert through his SOFA Entertainment company, so you might have to petition him for DVD releases.

Rating: None. Didn't see enough episodes to merit a rating.

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