Saturday, January 22, 2011

Don Kirshner: Rock Power!

Don Kirshner passed away a few days ago. Funny thing: I was just thinking about him. I'd decided awhile back to give a shout-out to David Essex's "Rock On" in my novel, which led me to attempt to introduce the song to Trev, who had somehow never heard of it. (We all have our cultural gaps.) And that made me think of this incredibly amazing album I had, when I was very, very young.

Don Kirshner Presents Rock Power

Go look at the album cover. Look at that electric guitar flying through the air! From The Power of Rock! And then read the list of artists represented thereon. I mean, nowadays the kids can mix up any jarring batch of songs they like on those little iPod thingies. But this guy, this Don Kirshner, a professional music producer, deliberately put the following all on the same record: Seals and Crofts, Alice Cooper, Dr. John, Black Sabbath, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Procol Harum, Aretha Franklin, BTO, Steppenwolf, the aforementioned David Essex... And somehow it all worked. I played this record constantly. When I was very, very, very young.

So thank you for that, Don.

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