January 18, 2011 at 03:29 PM EST

Don Kirshner, the music producer known as “The Man With the Golden Ear,” who managed the songwriting talent that helped make The Monkees a hit TV series and produced ABC’s Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert, has died of heart failure. He was 77. Kirshner was instrumental in the early careers of singers like Bobby Darin and Neil Diamond, and singers as varied as Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra recorded his songs. He had been inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2007.

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