British Invasion!

From the beginning of the record industry, American blues, jazz and rock-and-roll inspired musicians all around the world, particularly in Britain. In the mid-1960s, the proverbial turn-tables turned when British music and culture took the United States by storm. This phenomenon has come to be known as the British Invasion. American youth frenzied around British pop and rock groups such as The Rolling Stones, the Kinks, the Animals, and, perhaps most notably, the Beatles.

After the assassination of John F. Kennedy in November 1963, America was ripe to accept the spirit of The Beatles music. Walter Cronkite featured a special on the Beatles in December of that year, and after the Beatles appeared on the Ed Sullivan show in February 1964, “Beatlemania” began. The group continued to produce chart-topping hits with messages of peace and love until the group’s eventual dissolution in the 70s. Conventional American media outlets painted this counter-culture movement in a negative light, deeming it an ‘invasion.’ On the other hand, the youth that the music inspired would consider the movement a salvation during a chaotic time marked by the assassinations of JFK, RFK, MLK, the Cold War, Vietnam war, Civil Rights Movement, and more.

British culture made its way beyond music into American fashion, film, television, and literature. The phenomenon continued into the early 70s, forever changing the course of global musical and cultural history.

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Alec Cumming
Alec Cumming
I’m a child of the early sixties who grew up in Elizabeth, New Jersey, a scrappy town that reminds me in many ways of Bridgeport, which has been my home base since 2015.
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Annette Szczesiul
Annette Szczesiul
What inspires me about ‘PKN is that amidst all the differences, there is a beautiful core sharing values, mutual inspiration, spirit, heart, humor and never-ending goofiness!
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Carl J. Frano
Carl J. Frano
26 years playing compiled mixes of Billboard 100’s ranging from the 1950’s through the 1960’s at WPKN!
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Cliff Furnald
Cliff Furnald
Cliff brings music little heard on the radio or the mainstream.

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Del LaPietro
Del LaPietro
I was the WPKN Library Director from August of 2012 to 2021, and have been dubbed ‘the Anarchivist’ because of my interest in and passion for preserving the future of the WPKN collection.
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Emma Speer
Emma Speer
Board of Directors, Secretary
Emma was born and bred in Bridgeport. She attended Yale University where she received a B.S. in Cognitive Science. She also nerds out doing performance, such as improv and one-woman shows, as well as writing, painting, and podcasting.
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howard thompson
howard thompson
Howard Thompson hosts the rocking program, ‘PURE.’
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Kevin Gallagher
Kevin Gallagher
WPKN Board of Directors, Long Island Director
Kevin Gallagher likes to dig. Ask him to tell you about his life, and don’t be surprised if he digs up a tale about traveling the world with the Eurythmics or that he’s been digging WPKN since he became a DJ in 1972.
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Kevin Patrick
Kevin Patrick
Kevin Patrick: artist manager, label owner, A&R executive, radio promotion veteran, broadcaster and as well, an obsessed record collector.
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Martha W. Lewis
Martha W. Lewis
Martha Lewis is a visual artist, curator, educator and radio presenter who has exhibited nationally and internationally. Her artistic practice focuses on drawing, Site-Specific Installation, books, knowledge, and the history of science.
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Rob Silber
Rob Silber
WPKN Board of Directors Music Director
Rob Silber hosts Rock Therapy on WPKN. View his schedule.
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Simon Hunter
Simon Hunter
WPKN Board of Directors Chair
Partner and Chief Innovation Officer at CO OP Brand Co., Simon hosts Another Girl, Another Planet.
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Steve di Costanzo
Steve di Costanzo
WPKN General Manager
Music has always been front and center for me. It’s beyond therapeutic.
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In addition to our spectacular hosts, above, we want to take a minute to thank our fundraiser tally-keepers, without whose help we would certainly be lost!