August 12, 1918 – August 21, 2013
Sid Bernstein was a concert promoter who was largely responsible for the onset of the British Invasion by setting up the first US concerts by England’s biggest rock bands at the time. In 1964, Bernstein felt the excitement building for the Beatles so he contacted their manager Brian Epstein, and convinced him to let him promote two shows at Carnegie Hall after their first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. The demand for tickets was so huge, that he arranged their legendary Shea Stadium concert the following year. By doing so, he became the first promoter to ever set up a rock concert in a sports stadium. Bernstein went on to organize the first five Rolling Stones shows in America. He also brought fellow British Invasion groups, Herman’s Hermits, the Moody Blues, and the Kinks over for their first US shows. The list of others Bernstein organized early major early concerts for include Judy Garland, Tony Bennett, Ray Charles, Frank Sinatra, and James Brown who once credited Bernstein for being the only significant promoter to work with Black acts during the ’60s. Sid Bernstein was 95 when he passed away on August 21, 2013.