View Full Version : Bronx Music Man Don Kirshner dies

01-18-2011, 04:49 PM

01-19-2011, 12:00 PM
Don Kirshner took a chance on a band from Topeka, Kansas that played weird, classically influenced hard rock songs about environental, spiritual, and literary topics. That band was and is Kansas that most know for the songs Dust in the Wind, Carry on Wayward Son, Point of Know Return and a few other radio hits. Most of Kansas's best music rarely gets played on the radio and the casual fans are not familiar with it. Kansas did three albums on Kirshner's label before they had a hit on their fourth album Leftoverture, that Carry on Wayard Son is on. A lot of hard core Kansas fans that call themselves Wheatheads think the first three albums that were not a commercial success have some of their best work. Kirshner supported the band when they did not have radio hits and allowed them to develop a cult following of fans that had seen them in concert and on his Don Kirshner's Rock Concert television show.

In today's music business, if sales are not good, labels will drop a band after one or two albums. Labels are disappearing completely, which may be a good thing in some respects. Artists can put out their own music without paying the huge studio and distribution fees they had to pay in the past.

Kansas still plays about 75-100 concerts per year and usually play the Oklahoma City area at least once a year. Like most bands from the past, every member from their heyday is not in the band, but if one is familiar with their music, especially the obscure stuff, they are still a good live band. Those that go just to hear the hits are called "Dust and Bolters". They show up to hear Dust in the Wind and bolt. Casino shows, which are keeping a lot of 60's-90's bands performing live, tend to get a lot of "Dust and Bolt" fans. These fans are often disappointed when they do not hear "the hits" during their first three or four songs.

Kansas has a large following in Oklahoma City and throughout the state. They used to play Oklahoma before they even made their first album. David Ragsdale, the current violinist of Kansas, is a graduate of the University of Tulsa. Kansas has been playing with university symphonies to help raise money for their music departments. The played two nights in September in Stillwater with the OSU student symphony.

If you can tell from my post, Kansas is my favorite band. Thanks Don Kirshner for giving them a chance. RIP

Bigray in Ok