Monday, November 21, 2011

This day in music - November 21, 1972: Don Kirshner's In Concert debuts on ABC

Kirshner's In Concert was a precursor to the better known Don Kirshner's Rock Concert, which launched on September 27, 1973.

These shows were a part of the late night line-up of the time, going to air at 11:30 p.m. The first incarnation, In Concert, took the time slot usually featuring The Dick Cavett Show, and more than doubled the ratings that Cavett had been receiving. Gee, I can't imagine why.

These performance based formats, created and produced by Kirshner, were extremely popular in their day, with segments frequently introduced by the man himself, who had an unforgettable nasal twang and Bronx accent as he delivered the opening line "I'm Don Kirshner and welcome to Rock Concert." I guess you would had to have been there. If you know what I mean, the sound of that voice is already bouncing around in your head. If you loved the music that would follow, those were very exciting words indeed.

Kirshner, who just died earlier in 2011, was known in the music business as "The Man With the Golden Ear" for his success in managing songwriting talent and successful pop groups.

From 1971 to 1981, about the period consistent with my musical coming-of-age, the show featured the standout acts of the time, which would be way too many to mention. The wiki page link above has a partial list, if you're interested. Think 70s rock, and some 60s rock that hadn't yet faded, and they'll be on the list.

The first act to appear on the In Concert program was Poco, a Southern California country rock group formed by Richie Furay and Jim Messina after Buffalo Springfield broke up. They really helped to define the country rock genre, one of my personal favourite categories of music. If you like the Eagles, you'll like Poco.

Like a lot of bands, it went through many line-up changes. The version that appeared in 1972 probably consisted of Richie Furay (guitar, vocals); Paul Cotton (guitar, vocals); Rusty Young ( pedal steel guitar, banjo, Dobro, guitar, mandolin, vocals); Timothy B. Schmidt (bass, harmonica, vocals); and George Graham (drums, vocals).

Two of their better known songs were "Heart of the Night" and "Crazy Love," which would have come latter (1979-ish?) with a modified line-up. Here's something I found from the early 70s, likely with the originals, called "Just for Me and You." Straight ahead country rock.

(Cross-posted at Lippmann's Ghost.)

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