DON KIRSHNER, the American songwriter and rock producer who later moved into publishing and television work, has died at the age of 77. According to a statement, his death was caused by heart failure. Kirshner, often credited as the man who discovered singer Bobby Darin in the 1950's, will be best remembered for founding the song-writing factory 'Aldon Music' in the now legendary 'Brill Building' in New York.
Kirshner revolutionised the music publishing world and had musicians such as Carole King, Neil Sedaka, Howard Greenfield, Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann churning out hit after hit in the Brill Building. Known in the music industry as 'The Man With The Golden Ear', he once told Time Magazine "I can hear a kid hit a note and I know whether he has it or not" and he was also the man responsible for creating the music for 'The Monkees' television show. In 1973, he created and later became the host of a weekly live music show named 'Don Kirshner's Rock Concert', which showcased such bands as Pink Floyd, Kiss and The Ramones.
Kirshner was inducted into the Songwriter's Hall of Fame in 2007. He is survived by his wife of 50 years Sheila and his children Ricky and Daryn.