What Elsas Knew
By Dennis Elsas
America met the Beatles for the first time on February 7th 1964, and from that day on, the music world and my life were never quite the same. Beatlemania erupted that chilly afternoon as they arrived at New York's Kennedy Airport, and continued to build momentum as the next week's events unfolded. I was glued to my AM radio following their trip to the Plaza Hotel, their appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show, on-the-air with Murray the K, traveling to Washington DC and Miami, and performing at Carnegie Hall. There was no way for me to imagine them as a teenager, the impact their music would have on me personally and professionally.
Within five years I was on the other side of the radio (now FM), playing their music and sharing the news of their evolution from the Fab 4 to solo careers. And then to have my 1974 two hour live on-air conversation with John Lennon become an important part of their historical record remains one of my greatest thrills.
Their arrival was a story I always wanted to revisit in detail. In 2004 (on the 40th anniversary) I did just that with an award winning documentary complete with rare broadcast audio and exclusive interviews. It's updated for 2014 and debuts on my show on WFUV at 4PM (EST) on Friday February 7th. Listen to a preview of It Was Fifty Years Ago Today - The Beatles Invade America or enjoy the complete show HERE.
Dennis Elsas is a cornerstone of New York Rock'N'Roll radio. The distinctive style he developed during twenty-five years at WNEW-FM continues on weekday afternoons at WFUV and every weekend on Sirius/XM Classic Vinyl. His creative music programming and history-making interviews - including the legendary 1974 conversation with John Lennon - have connected Dennis with generations of listeners. He is the "Voice of Rock History" at the Museum at Bethel Woods, and a leading voice-over artist for documentary films and commercials. Dennis also entertains audiences with a journey through his personal archives in a live, on-stage multimedia show, "Rock 'N' Roll Never Forgets."