August 21, 2013 22:09

Legendary Beatles concert promoter Sid Bernstein dies, aged 95

Bernstein also brought The Rolling Stones and The Kinks to America in the '60s

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Sid Bernstein, the legendary concert promoter who helped bring The Beatles and The Rolling Stones to America, has died at the age of 95.

Bernstein booked The Beatles for their historic gig at New York's Shea Stadium in 1965, which was the first ever rock concert to be held in a sports stadium. The previous year, he had promoted their shows in New York's famous Carnegie Hall venue on the band's first US tour.

He also booked The Rolling Stones' first five stateside gigs and flew other bands including The Kinks, The Animals and Herman's Hermits across the Atlantic. Bernstein, who later branded himself "the father of the British invasion", passed away peacefully in his sleep this morning (August 21), his daughter Casey Deutsch confirmed.

Other artists who had concerts promoted by Bernstein over the years included Jimi Hendrix, James Brown, Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles, Judy Garland and Abba, whose first US appearances were organised by Bernstein.

In an extensive biography on his official site, Bernstein said: "My secret to success is that I've always loved good music and people. The players in the promotion business today are, by and large, not in it for the art any more. It's all about how many bucks can you make on a concert. That's permissible. I mean we are in a capitalistic society. But I feel a lot of the art thing is lost. It shouldn't just be about money. It should be about loving what you do."

Last year, at the age of 93, Bernstein launched a singing career with his debut album 'Sid Bernstein Presents', a covers collection that he made available on iTunes. He is survived by Geraldine, his wife of over 50 years, as well as by six children and six grandchildren.

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