Rock Impresario Don Kirshner Dead at 76

His ABC concert series hosted some of the biggest names in rock ‘n’ roll during the 1970s

Rock producer and promoter Don Kirshner, whose 1970s ABC performance series "Rock Concert" hosted lumenary acts ranging from the Rolling Stones to Bruce Springsteen, died at the age of 76 in Boca Raton, Fla. of heart failure.

The Bronx-born Kirshner broke into the music business in the 1950s, writing commercial jingles for Bobby Darin. After Darin broke out with the hit "Splish Splash" in 1958, Kirshner established the powerful music-publishing house Aldon, which he co-founded with Al Nevins.

Publishing, promoting — and in some cases, manufacturing — bubblegum pop acts, Kirshner was responsible for unleashing The Monkees and the Archies while running Aldon.

He later transformed into what the New York Times describes as a kind of Ed Sullivan for the 1970s, with his weekly late-night series "Rock Concert" running on ABC from 1973-1982,

His weekly "Rock Concert" kicked off with a performance by the Stones, later featuring acts ranging from Lynyrd Skynard to David Bowie to Kiss.