New Haven, Connecticut resident Charles Rosenay wears many hats. He is an entertainer, MC/DJ, producer, actor, impresario, tour organizer, promoter and haunted house operator. ‘As far as I’m concerned, my life began on February 9th, 1964, when The Beatles first appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show. It’s actually my first memory in life and nothing was the same after that.’ His mother Rose, from the Bronx, was a real New Yawker with a larger-than-life personality. She was very musical and played piano by ear: his father Harry was from Brooklyn, and Charles was born and raised in the Bronx until they moved to New Haven when he was ten. ‘They were the greatest, most loving, and most supportive parents on the planet. The radio was always playing in the background and in the car, and we were always singing,’ Rosenay recalls. He doesn’t have any siblings and he doesn’t play any instruments but took accordion lessons and classical guitar growing up: abandoning both. But he always loved to sing. ‘Years later, I portrayed Davy Jones in a tribute band, MonkeeMania, and I was spot-on with the tambourine and maracas,’ Charles notes, ‘I think if I had learned guitar or bass I would have auditioned for ‘Beatlemania,’ but the Beatles world had different plans for me.’ In the late ’70’s, he heard about a Beatles convention presented by Joe Pope, a pioneer who produced the first Beatles fan convention in America at Boston’s Bradford Hotel. Pope also published an amazing Beatles fanzine ‘Strawberry Fields Forever.’ Without knowing it, Pope was Rosenay’s inspiration. However, it was the NY Beatlefest and seeing ‘Beatlemania’ on Broadway that gave him the impetus to produce his own Beatles convention in Connecticut, in 1978, while still in high school. Liverpool Productions was born. In 1980, Charles felt he couldn’t keep up with all the fans who were begging to have him present conventions in their own towns; so he decided to start publishing his own fanzine mostly as a networking tool to keep in touch with all of his new friends. ‘Good Day Sunshine’ was born. Neither the conventions nor the publication could make a living, but that was okay because Rosenay had become a decent DJ; and was on the air starting with college radio stations and even doing work for major stations in his area. He has been one of the most in-demand DJ/MC/Entertainers in CT for four decades. In 1983, after three years of publication, ‘Good Day Sunshine’ had become one of the most-read Beatle mags in the world, and the conventions were hitting their stride. Rosenay was getting invitations to produce and host conventions in other parts of the U.S and overseas. A Massachusetts upstart, Rock Apple Tours, approached him to host a tour of Liverpool, the home of The Beatles. It was the brainstorm of rock impresario Tony Raine, who lived on Cape Cod and promotes the Melody Tent today. The tour morphed into Charles’ own ‘Magical History Tour’ and he started meeting a long line of Fab Four insiders who would become guests at later conventions including: Pete Best, Cynthia Lennon, Mike McCartney, John’s sister Julia Baird, Billy J. Kramer, Tony Sheridan, Horst Fascher, Allan Williams, Sam Leach, Joey Molland, Alistair Taylor, Alf Bicknell, Norm Rossington, and Gordon Millings. Rosenay would bring dozens of great guests to conventions stateside, and thousands of satisfied travelers to Liverpool. ‘I never met John, but thankfully had close encounters with Paul numerous times, George once in a Tokyo airport, and Ringo at press conferences and on TV shows. I wouldn’t say I’m famous in Liverpool, but I’m definitely recognized when I visit The Cavern. Over the years, I’ve been honored by official ceremonies from Lord Mayors of Liverpool acknowledging and officially recognizing me as an ‘Unofficial Ambassador To Liverpool.’ In the future, expect more conventions, more tours, more promotions, more MC-ing/DJ-ing gigs and who knows what else. For many moons, he’s been asked if he’ll ever write a book on all his experiences, travels, and adventures. People have always expected Rosenay to be a real life ‘paperback writer,’ and come up with a Beatles book of some sort; including all of his interviews and encounters. His greatest production? The three children he and his wife Melissa have brought in the world: Lauren, Harrison and Ian. New Englander Charles F. Rosenay is truly a renaissance man who has his hands in many activities.. But more than that, he’s a real nice, down-to-earth guy who loves what he does, and has brought a lot of joy to thousands.
(by A.J. Wachtel)
Published on March 18, 2020