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Don Kirshner: The Man with the Golden Ear: How He Changed the Face of Rock and Roll Hardcover – February 1, 2012

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Review

The first thing to say about Don Kirshner: The Man With The Golden Ear is that even if you only have a passing interest in pop music you will want to read this. --Total Music Book Reviews

About the Author

RICH PODOLSKY, an established reporter and writer since the 1970s, has been a staff writer for CBS, and has written for TV Guide, ESPN, the Philadelphia Daily News, the Palm Beach Post, and the Wilmington News Journal. His passion for the music of the '60s led him to Don Kirshner and the amazing teenage songwriters he discovered.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 286 pages
  • Publisher: Hal Leonard (February 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1458416704
  • ISBN-13: 978-1458416704
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #717,767 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mimi Alford on March 11, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Admitting love and ignorance at the same time is embarrassing but I am willing to do it. I love Rich Podolsky's outstanding biography of "Don Kirshner, The Man with the Golden Ear" because in every chapter Podolsky has taught me something new about the songs that captured me so long ago. I can see my record player. It looks like a small square gray and red suitcase. There it is, open on the floor with a stack of 45's on the fat spindle and I am dancing around my bedroom in a dreamy state...a young teenage girl. Even today, I remember all the lyrics and I pretend that I can sing along as I take a morning walk, plugged into my iPod. What I didn't know anything about until I read Podolsky's book was the business of making music - how these songs that I have cherished for so long came to exist. In telling the stories of how Kirshner's passion, determination and sometimes downright luck brought so many amazing young singers and writers together into the world of the Brill Building, Podolsky has written a book that is lively, informative and fun to read. I could feel the magic...even without turning my iPod on.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Ken Rappaport on March 27, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
WOW-I COULD'NT WAIT TO GET HOME EVERYDAY TO FINISH THE BOOK. IT WAS SO INFORMATIVE
GROWING UP IN BROOKLYN MAKES ME PROUD TO KNOW THAT THESE SINGER-SONGWRITERS WERE FROM COMMUNITIES JUST A FEW MILES FROM WHERE I LIVED. DON KIRSHNER WAS AMAZING BRINGING CAROLE KING/GERRRY GOFFIN, NEIL SEDAKA/HOWARD GREENFIELD, BARRY MANN/CYBTHIA WEIL AND OTHERS WITH 200 CHARTED HITS...UNREAL. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS BOOK TO ANYONE WHO IS A MUSIC BUFF 1958-1963. CHEERS TO RICH PODOLSKY,THE AUTHOR.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By jmg on March 17, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book was great! A bit embarrassed, I will admit that I did not know who Don Kirshner was, or that he indeed changed the face of rock and roll. But that is the very point - You do not need any knowledge of Don Kirshner to love the book and appreciate all he did to foster the best songwriters in the last 100 years to produce their and the very best. And the result is so many songs that people of all ages love - songs that have stood the test of time. Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?, Loco-Motion, Splish Splash, You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'. I certainly did know or at least had heard of many of the characters in the book including Neil Sedaka, Bobby Darin, and Carole King to name a few. I loved hearing the history of the writing, recording, and releases some of the best known songs of all time. Songs lyrics written in 5 minutes on a napkin in a diner? Great stuff. I also really enjoyed the author's additions of personal notes of his successes, struggles, and sometime failures of attaining interviews with the musical geniuses that you will come to love and admire through reading the book. I cannot encourage you enough to branch out and read something a little different. I am sure you will love it as much as I did.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Courtney on March 16, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book transported me right back to cheerleading practice. After an hour of cartwheels and jumps, my friends and I would wait for the bus and wind down by singing the immortal "dum doobie do dum dum" harmonies of Neil Sedaka's "Breaking Up is Hard to Do". Happily, Sedaka is prominently featured in Rich Podolsky's wonderful new book, as are so many of the gifted contemporaries whose careers were nurtured by Don Kirshner's infallible instinct for raw talent. Kirshner is a perfect example of man born into the right place and the right time, a time when the music industry seemed far less cold and corporate than it does now. The book is full of anecdotes that make the musicians and the era that spawned them come alive in such a personal way that once you start turning pages, I defy you to stop. Kirshner's exalted place in rock history is well-deserved and Rich Podolsky makes us understand why. So even if you didn't spend part of the 60's in cheerleading practice, order this book. It's a ride with the top down and the wind in your hair. You'll love it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By L. Gershon on March 2, 2012
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As a tremendous fan of music and reading, I thought this was a great choice for a book as it involves the history of the rise of some of the greats in the music industry in a most descriptive, informative and fun read. The author, Rich Podolsky, takes us on a voyage through Don Kirshner's incredible rise in the music industry. Rich's style of writing drew me in as he is descriptive, funny and the personal touches and anecdotes just made the this volume a MUST READ. I am encouraging all to go on this journey with Rich Podolsky narrating as his accounts on a personal and professional level with the key players involved is simply wonderful! I reiterate, this is nothing short of a MUST READ.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jimmy on February 18, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Well, Amazon delivered my copy and I am 50 pages into it. Congratulations on the book and the all the effort you put into it.

I was never "into" rock and roll to the level you were. But the book has exceeded my expectations.

- I like your writing style. Nice simple punchy sentences that clearly convey your meaning.

- I like the blend between the Kirshner story line and how you did the background research. It's a nice touch when you interrupt the book flow, switch to italics, and describe your conversations with the characters which got you the information. It's a real treat reading about events from 50 years ago and then have you talk about your phone calls and interviews which you had, basically, in the present. A great connection between the past and the present.

I just finished the Steve Jobs biography, and he and Kirshner are similar. Both had a vision they would not let go of. And both achieved it.

Now, I need to get back to the rest of the book!
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Don Kirshner: The Man with the Golden Ear: How He Changed the Face of Rock and Roll
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