Bronx native Don Kirshner, a legend in the music business who passed away last year at age 76, is being inducted posthumously into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame this weekend. NY1's Neil Rosen filed the following report.
Don Kirshner was known for his innate ability to discover talent and recognize a hit song and he created a music publishing empire, discovering such greats as Carole King and Neil Sedaka and was the impresario behind such pop groups as The Monkees and The Archies.
Kirshner's earliest discovery in the 1950s was singer Bobby Darin. In 1960, Kirshner created a music publishing company called Aldon Music that produced dozens of hits that had Kirshner's stamp: "The Locomotion," "One Fine Day," "You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Woman," "You've Lost That Loving Feeling" and "Breaking Up Is Hard To Do," just to name a few.
Kirshner's offices were actually located at 1650 Broadway, where the gifted songwriting teams whose careers he launched would work in cramped cubicles, each trying to churn out a hit record, and they all desperately sought Don Kirshner's approval.
There's a new book about Kirshner's life called "Don Kirshner: The Man With The Golden Ear." It's author is Rich Podolsky.
"If Donnie was alive and able to accept the award from the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame this year, and he'd go up on the stage, and I think he'd probably say, 'It’s about time. I should have gotten this years ago. You all know I deserved it, and that politics kept me out, but thank you anyhow,'" Podolsky said.
In the early 1970s, Kirshner launched a popular late night television series: "Don Kirshner's Rock Concert," which he hosted. The series showcased such future stars as Billy Joel, The Ramones and Kiss.
But it's the songwriters that he discovered and their great music from the 1960's that is Don Kirshner's lasting legacy.