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Don Kirshner's Rock Concert

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Friday, January 21, 2011

The music mogul who put bands like the Ramones on national television died this week. Today on Soundcheck: A look back at Don Kirshner's most enduring legacy -- a TV show he hosted in the 70s and 80s called “Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert." Later: the sounds of Washington, D.C.'s escalators get a remix. Plus: rockabilly legend Wanda Jackson declares that "The Party Ain't Over." She'll join us in the studio to talk about her new album.

The "Rock Concert" Comes to TV

The music publisher and producer Don Kirshner died this week at age 76. We’ll look back at one of the best-known chapters in his career: the syndicated TV show he hosted in the 1970s and early 80s called “Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert.” We'll talk with Robert Thompson, director of Syracuse University's Bleier Center for Television and Popular Culture, and Rolling Stone contributing editor Alan Light. And: we get a call from Sylvain Sylvain of The New York Dolls.

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Escalator Music

Chris Richards, pop critic for The Washington Post, has a theory that the squeaky escalators in Washington D.C.'s metro system are "secret music." So, he recorded the squeals of the city's musical stairs -- and then, invited readers to submit remixes. He joins us to explain the project, and present some of the winning entries.

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In Conversation: Wanda Jackson

Rock and roll legend Wanda Jackson was crowned the Queen of Rockabilly when she recorded the 1958 hit, "Let's Have a Party." She elbowed her way through the male-dominated rock and roll scene and imbued it with a Southern twang. 5 decades later, she's still at it--and about to release her latest record, "The Party Ain't Over." She’ll join us in the studio to talk about the new album, produced by The White Stripes' Jack White.

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Playlist: Don Kirshner's Rock Concert + Wanda Jackson

Click through to see today's Soundcheck playlist!

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Gig Alert: Ravens & Chimes

Ravens & Chimes brings its symphonic indie pop to Brooklyn's Coco66 tonight. Download the group's unreleased "Past Lives" here.

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Tokyo Police Club

Gig Alert: Tokyo Police Club

Tokyo Police Club became a must-play at college and indie radio stations after it released its EP A Lesson In Crime in 2006. Download the track “Breakneck Speed” from the 2010 album Champ here.

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Guards

Gig Alert: Guards

Southern Californian musician James Follin collaborates with Caroline Polachek of Chairlift, James Richardson of MGMT and his sister Madeline of Cults on the Guards' debut album. Download the track “Swimming After Dark” here.

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