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Meeting Dennis Elsas: Raspberries Fan


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Dennis Elsas has been a fixture on New York Radio for over 3 decades.

When I was merely a "Yute" (For definition see "My Cousin Vinny") and attending Brooklyn College...Dennis was a guiding force on Progressive Radio Station WNEW-FM.

Dennis was,is,and has always been....a major "Raspberries Supporter" even while most of his fellow "Progressive Brethren" "didn't get it".

He introduced the 'Berries at the BB King show in New York...and you can read all about him and his history with the "Raspberries" in "Marathon Man" by B.Hogya and Ken Sharpe.

On Monday I had the good fortune to meet Dennis while touring WFUV-FM in New York.

Like a school boy...I excitedly told him about seeing him at BB King's,gave him the details of Eric's birthday appearance at WAB 5-0 and showed him a photo of my proudest moment...standing with Eric and Cool Chick Auntie at the party.

I also told Dennis how Eric told me when we were chatting at the party that Dennis was one of the few who "Got" the "Raspberries" on New York Radio in the 70's...which I know Dennis felt good about.

After my visit I e-mailed Dennis a note...and he responded by writing back that he didn't mind if I summarized my visit with him on EC.Com,that he took a look at our site and enjoyed it and enjoyed the photos of WAB-50...and he sent Bernie regards.

A coupla things I gotta mention.

1-Dennis is a very warm,nice,man.

2-I got to see an in-studio concert by a group called the Magic Numbers...and hear Dennis interview them....Both Dennis and the "Numbers" were great!

3-You should all get a chance to hear Dennis.

He is on Sirius Classic Vinyl 6-10 a.m. Eastern ,and on WFUV-90.7-FM and over the internet from 2 to 6 p.m. daily

Man! Ec.com has been such a great experience that has led to so much good stuff!-Ira.

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I'm sure your memory is accurate John.

Dennis is as sharp as they come and as passionate...it seemed to me....about music....as he was when we first heard him.

It almost seems like a fantasy now to think about the freedom and creativity that DJs on stations like WNEW-FM had back then.

Dennis (and I believe Pete Fornatale) may have been among the few on WNEW-FM to recognize "Raspberries,Hollies,Beach Boys,and the like...in the days of 'Zep...But all the DJs had the freedom to play some of their faves if they basically were by artists who had some credibility and created their own music.

Now-a-days I would guess you need permission to skip Clarkson and Powter during your air shift.-Ira.

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Dennis is a TERRIFIC guy!

When I interviewed him for Eric Carmen: Marathon Man, he told me he introduced Raspberries when they played Carnegie Hall in 1973. When the band reunited and made their first return visit to the Big Apple in 32 years, I thought it would be cool to have Dennis introduce the band again. Eric agreed.

It was the perfect start to one of the best concert weekends of all-time! Dennis was one of the guys who influenced my taste in music as a deejay at WNEW-FM in New York City. Those were the days when radio personalities carried LPs to work under their arm and played stuff they liked rather than what a computer said should be played. It was because of guys like Dennis Elsas that I heard most of the music I grew up loving.

So, thanks Dennis! If it wasn't for you there might not be an EricCarmen.com!


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Darlene-I'm also learning how many of you had special moments they remember...(including my buddy Mel who is visiting me from California right now)...of Dennis playing unique stuff on the radio that they remember to this day.

I too have many, many,"Elsas (and Pete Fornatalle Memories".-Ira.

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I can remember Dennis Elsas on WNEW-FM in the early 70's playing the intro to Paul McCartney's song "Smile Away" from the Ram album which he segued into "Go All the Way" by Raspberries. Some people thought it was a new McCartney song at the time. I have that somewhere in my tape archives. That was the first time that I heard Raspberries, and I was floored. "Great Memories." Any other similar stories??

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Dennis and Pete were two of my faves. I also loved Cousin Bruce Morrow. I had a total love affair with radio, even though television was the "big thing" in my childhood.

I remember listening with the radio under my pillow at night to radio stations as far away as Chicago and remember radio personalities like Alison Steele (the night bird), who had the most enchanting voice, and good old Jean Shepherd, who had the most amazing stories, some of which he'd stop telling and never get back to them. Yep, the radio was a great friend and Pete and Dennis were a huge part of those memories!

:) --Darlene

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