Radio DJ Pete Fornatale Dies At 66
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Pete Fornatale, a radio disc jockey who entertained New Yorkers for more than 40 years, died at age 66 today, nearly two weeks after he suffered a brain hemorrhage.
Fornatale suffered a brain hemorrhage on April 15 and had been in intensive care for the last week.
Since 2001, Fornatale had been on the Fordham University radio station WFUV with his show that was a staple of New York radio, "Mixed Bag," featuring folk, rock and any type of music that he loved.
Born in the Bronx, Fornatale first was on the airwaves on WFUV, as a college student in the mid-1960s.
He is perhaps best known for his work at WNEW-FM between 1969 to 1989, working at one of the nation's leading progressive rock stations at the time.
As the idea of freeform radio went out of vogue and playlists became more restricted, Fornatale began his show "Mixed Bag," taken from the title of a Richie Havens album, in 1982.
It featured all types of music, but especially groups and artists and songs not heard on other commercial radio stations, including the best of acoustic music like Aztec Two Step, Buskin and Batteau, Steve Goodman, John Prine, Christine Lavin and others.
Fornatale's last show was on april 14.
There will be a private wake and funeral.
Plans are being made for a memorial tribute produced by a non-profit organization that Fornatale loved, Why Hunger.