Concert promoter Sid Bernstein, one of the big figures behind the British Invasion in the 1960s, died in New York on Wednesday, BBC reported. He was 95 years old.
Bernstein booked the Beatles for their Shea Stadium show in 1965, which made history as the first concert to be staged in a stadium. Bernstein also promoted the Beatles’ shows at Carnegie Hall during the Fab Four’s first U.S. tour in 1964. While Bernstein was widely known as the Beatles’ U.S. tour promoter, he also arranged the Rolling Stones’ first handful of U.S. shows and booked a number of other British bands.
“The first dozen groups of the British Invasion were my imports,” he once said. “But look, it was no stroke of genius. I was just doing my homework at the time.”
In addition to the Beatles and the Stones, Bernstein also booked gigs for Frank Sinatra, Jimi Hendrix, Ray Charles, Judy Garland, Tony Bennett and many others.
Bernstein was also revolutionary for his practice of booking black singers in the 1960s—something not every promoter was willing to do at the time. Because of that, according to late funk singer James Brown, Bernstein “was in the forefront of race relations.”
Bernstein is survived by his wife, six children and six grandchildren.