Show Business Is His Life
By Nikki Denett
After a lifetime in the music industry, Sid Bernstein, with the help of friend Deirdre Broderick, made his dream a reality, stepping out from behind the scenes into the musical forefront with his album "Sid Bernstein Presents," a collection of cover songs that not only showcase some of his personal favorite tunes, but also pay homage to a few of the artists whose careers he was instrumental in helping cultivate. Bernstein says, "the album is a tribute to artists I've enjoyed, to songs I've enjoyed."
Finally deciding to record an album was an idea that sprung out of many singing sessions held at his Upper East Side apartment with Broderick, a musician in her own right, who became friends with Sid after she first met him eight years ago at a bus stop near his home.
"I just came over here every week with my guitar and he made me a list of songs that he enjoyed. And we would just sing at the top of our lungs. And after awhile we thought well, you know, we have the technology, so I brought a friend of mine in and we recorded his favorites of what we had done and that's what this record is."
The seven songs that comprise the album include John Lennon's "Imagine" as well as "Love" from Lennon's "Plastic Ono Band" album. Bernstein also takes on Tony Bennett's classic "I Left My Heart In San Francisco," featuring a compelling prelude in which Sid recounts the tale of the day Bennett came into his office and approached him with the song.
Perhaps the most endearing track is Bernstein and Broderick's cover of Roy Orbison's rock and roll ballad "Crying," sung with a moving arrangement that features David Spinozza, who has previously worked on albums by John Lennon, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr.
"Sid Bernstein Presents" is now available on iTunes, CDBaby.com, and Sid's official website, SidBernsteinPresents.com
Beatle Brunch roving reporter, Nikki Denett strikes again! Thanks Nikki. We're certain the entire Beatle Brunch Family will respond with resounding support.
Beatle Brunch Bernstein Backbeat
With an impressive career that spans over half a century, Sid Bernstein, who aided the careers of artists such as Judy Garland, Tony Bennett, The Rolling Stones, James Brown and The Beatles, has long since earned the title of "legend" in the music industry.
Bernstein is and will always be remembered most famously as the man that brought the Beatles to America in 1964, when he booked them to play two shows at Carnegie Hall, igniting the British music invasion of the 1960's. However, the list of momentous accomplishments and contributions that have comprised his career is seemingly endless, filled with names that have become so embedded into the history of modern popular music that they are almost mythological in form. Early in his illustrious career Bernstein worked for Judy Garland on her comeback tour, booking her in twelve US cities when he worked as a talent agent. He eventually scored a gig working for General Artists Corporation, the top talent agency of its time.
Above all the other agents Sid stood out the most due to his ability to appreciate talent, as well as having a true sense of faith in the ability of his artists. Soon after working at GAC, Bernstein began work as a promoter while still employed as a talent agent, something that wasn't allowed at the time. Still, Bernstein was able to successfully get The Beatles to play America, securing the group their first New York City concert appearance after "The Ed Sullivan Show." Perhaps Bernstein's presence is most felt in regards to Tony Bennett's career. His notoriety sky-rocketed after Sid booked him to perform at Carnegie Hall, a venue that's one of Bernstein's personal favorites. The appearance would be the first of many in Bennett's career and helped to cement his place as one of America's most beloved vocalists.
Bernstein was not only first in bringing The Beatles to the US and first in booking Tony Bennett to Carnegie Hall, but simply put, being first was something Sid found habit forming. He was the first white promoter to book artists at Harlem's Apollo Theater and endorsed future world-renowned acts such as James Brown, Ray Charles and Stevie Wonder, a practice that wasn't particularly mainstream among other entertainment agencies and promoters. But, Sid fought back, booking black artists in premier establishments, using music to combat the tension that was going on in American society.
After achieving numerous pinnacles in his career, Sid still manages to find joy in working. Alongside his well-earned title as legendary rock and roll impresario, he is also an author, having published an autobiography as well as participating in a documentary about his career in the music business. Most recently, he became a singer, releasing his first album "Sid Bernstein Presents". Though he has apparently accomplished it all, Bernstein prefers to believe in the mantra that Bennett and Sinatra once made famous ... "The best is yet to come."