Sid Bernstein, the legendary concert promoter largely credited with spearheading the British Invasion of the 1960s by bringing The Beatles to the U.S., has died. He was 95.
Bernstein’s career was a career filled with firsts. Besides booking the first U.S. shows with The Beatles in Carnegie Hall in 1964, he booked the first-ever sports arena concert in 1965 (also with The Beatles) at Shea Stadium in 1965. He is credited with the first U.S. concert bookings of The Rolling Stones and ABBA, as well as breaking barriers of race by booking for Jimi Hendrix and James Brown. Other bands he brought across the pond included The Animals, The Kinks and Herman’s Hermits; he also organized shows for Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, Bobby Darin, Tony Bennett and a host of others.
At age 93, Bernstein might also have been one of the oldest people to embark on a singing career, releasing a cover album called Sid Bernstein Presents, which is still available on iTunes.
According to Bernstein’s daughter Casey Deutsch, the former concert promoter died peacefully in his sleep in Manhattan on August 21. He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Geraldine, as well as 6 children and 6 grandchildren. He will be greatly missed.
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