Dennis Elsas - Pete Fornatale Tribute - 2012

by Dennis Elsas

Pete Fornatale and I met for the first time in early 1967. I had accidentally stumbled upon WFUV and his show Campus Caravan trying to fix my AM/FM clock radio. I loved what I heard and was intrigued at the way he was putting the songs together. As a young college broadcaster at Queens College, I reached out to make the connection. We soon became close friends and wound up working together for many years at WNEW-FM and later at WFUV.

In July 1989, as he was about to mark his twentieth anniversary at WNEW-FM, I decided to throw him a surprise celebration on-the-air. I invited many of the artists he loved and my WNEW-FM colleagues (past and present) to join the party. Listening back to it just shortly after he passed away, I found it comforting and a reminder of just how much we lost and how much we miss him.

On Friday April 27th, the day after he died, I played a lot of it on my afternoon show on WFUV along with sharing other memories and recollections from the music community. You can hear that program below, and there’s more to hear from that show, as part of today's special edition of Mixed Bag, hosted by Don McGee from 4-8pm on WFUV.

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