Dennis Elsas

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Dennis Elsas
Born Queens, New York
Residence Westchester, New York
Nationality American
Alma mater Queens College
Occupation Disc jockey at WFUV and SiriusXM

Dennis Elsas is an American disc jockey in New York City, whose radio and voiceover career has spanned well over forty years, most notably his more than 25 years at WNEW-FM in New York City, where he also served as music director. He currently hosts an afternoon show on WFUV in New York (90.7 FM) and weekend shows on Sirius XM Satellite Radio's Classic Vinyl (channel 26). Elsas created and presents "Rock 'n' Roll Never Forgets," which features highlights of his historic interviews with Elton John, Jerry Garcia, Pete Townshend, and John Lennon. [1]

Education and early broadcasting career[edit]

Raised in Jackson Heights, Queens, Elsas attended Queens College of the City University of New York, graduating in 1968. During his time at Queens College, he was active as a disc jockey and program director and in 1966 helped establish WQMC, the campus radio station.[2]

In 1969, Elsas joined WVOX, a suburban FM radio station in New Rochelle, New York, where he broadcast a show called "Something Else Again" for the next two years.

WNEW-FM years[edit]

On July 11, 1971, Elsas launched what would become a 25-plus year career at WNEW-FM in New York City. During this time he was the station's music director in addition to hosting nighttime, mid-day and weekend shows. On-air interviews included Elton John, Pete Townshend, Paul McCartney, and John Lennon. While at WNEW, he became an important voice in the progressive FM movement.

Elsas' 1974 two-hour interview with John Lennon holds a special place among Beatles fans and scholars. Highlights from the interview have been featured in numerous Beatles documentaries and books, including in the permanent collection of the Museum of Television and Radio. Excerpts of the interview were used in the Beatles Anthology and the PBS film LennoNYC.[3]

John Lennon interview[edit]

Elsas interviewed John Lennon on September 28, 1974. Elsas got the story of the infamous Beatles "butcher cover."[4]

Elsas recalled, "I was asking the right questions, about the album art. While we were off mic, I mentioned something about the Beatles, and he lights up. He turns around, and there's a huge wall of albums, I picked out an album and he said, 'Oh yeah, the one with the dead babies,' and begins telling me the story.... I said, 'John, do you mind telling me that on the air?' It was all live. We only had two turntables so I had to cue something up. It's that sort of on-the-fly-stuff. If they're comfortable, then you can ask the question." [4]


Since the summer of 2000, Elsas has hosted weekday afternoons (2-6PM) on New York’s WFUV (90.7 FM, and streaming at He presents a wide variety of rock, folk, jazz and blues in the tradition of progressive radio he helped to create. He has interviewed numerous artists in studio including Elvis Costello, Ben Folds, Patti Smith, Edie Brickell and Ringo Starr.


In May 2004, Elsas joined SiriusXM’s Classic Vinyl (26). Focused on classic rock music, history and memories, his show airs Saturday and Sunday from 6pm-12am ET.


  1. ^ "On The Radio With a Mix Very Distinctly His Own". The New York Times. Retrieved 2016-09-16. 
  2. ^ "He Likes That Old Time Rock 'n Roll". Westchester Magazine. September 2003. Retrieved 2016-09-16. 
  3. ^ Gaar, Gillian (March 1, 2011). "John Lennon: LENNONYC". Goldmine. Retrieved February 18, 2017.  – via HighBeam Research (subscription required)
  4. ^ a b Gwen Orel (2014-10-28). "Dennis Elsas remembers rock and roll in Montclair [video] - Music". Retrieved 2016-09-16. 

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