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Don Kirshner Passes

DON KIRSHNER, 77, legendary music publisher who fostered such Brill Building hit-making songwriters of the ‘50s and ‘60s as Carole King, Gerry Goffin, Neil Sedaka, Howard Greenfield, Cynthia Weil, Barry Mann, Neil Diamond and many others working under the umbrella of Kirshner and Al Nevin's Aldon Music, died today from heart failure. As a producer-promoter, Kirshner was influential in launching the careers of artists such as Diamond, Bobby Darin and Tony Orlando as well as rock acts such as Kansas, who were signed to his Kirshner label. He was also responsible for managing the songwriting talent behind the first seasons of the 1960s television show The Monkees, as well as The Archies and, later, his weekly live-performance show Don Kirshner's Rock Concert, memorably spoofed by Paul Shaffer on Saturday Night Live. Kirshner is survived by his wife of 50 years, Sheila, his children Ricky and Daryn and his grandchildren Alexandra, Shelby, Jillian, Matthew and Jaden. The family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Don Kirshner Scholarship Fund, which is being established by his family for emerging songwriters (70 West 36 Street, Suite 701, NY 10018 - 212.239.0777) . (1/18p)

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