Hall Inductees... Will Not Include Don Kirshner...
by Tom Nakashima,posted Mar 11 2011 11:05AM
On Monday night, the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York will be buzzing. Rock’s elite will honor its own, and welcome the latest class of inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. That list will not include legendary music impresario Don Kirshner,who passed away in January. But you could argue that he was a major player in the history of rock and roll.. as a music publisher, record executive and mentor. He’s the one who discovered up-and-coming songwriters such as Carole King, Neil Sedaka, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, and helped launch the careers of Bobby Darin, Neil Diamond, Tony Orlando and Kansas. Letterman bandleader Paul Shaffersaid, “He brought live music to network television with his Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert and even gave some early exposure to my boss David Letterman. He was first with the idea of a rock-and-roll awards show (Don Kirshner’s Rock Awards.) His contributions are lasting… Don loved the impression that I did of him (a spot-on satire on SNL) because he knew it came out of the love and respect I had for him.” Without Don Kirshner, we wouldn’t have enjoyed “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin,” “The Locomotion,” “On Broadway,” “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” …and the list goes on. And we definitely would not have known some of the best singer/songwriters of our era.