Don Kirshner, a songwriter and producer known in the music industry as “The Man With The Golden Ear,” has died. He was 77 and the cause was heart failure, according to a statement.
One of Kirshner’s first steps in the music business was discovering singer Bobby Darin in the 1950s. The duo eventually went their separate ways but Kirshner was hooked on the thrill of the music business.
“I can hear a kid hit a note and I know whether he has it or not,” Kirshner once told Time magazine.
He, along with musician Al Nevins, then founded a songwriting factory, Aldon Music in the legendary Brill Building in New York City. Writers and performers such as Carole King, Neil Sedaka, Howard Greenfield, Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann all churned out songs for Aldon Music.
Having just read about Kirshner in TEARING DOWN THE WALL OF SOUND, this is even more relevant to my interests. His contribution to music cannot be underestimated, especially because of the Monkees, not in spite of them.