MURRAY ‘THE K’ KAUFMAN
Murray “the K” Kaufman was born on February 14, 1922. He worked his way into radio in 1953, producing a late night interview show before receiving his own nightly program on WMCA/New York.
In 1958, Kaufman joined WINS/New York as the host of the Swingin’ Soiree, a mixture of rock and roll and Kaufman’s inventive patter. When he took over Alan Freed’s timeslot a year later, Kaufman quickly became the most popular disc jockey in New York.
Kaufman’s love for rock and roll and its audience led the Beatles to seek him out when they first came to America in 1964. Kaufman’s friendship with the group earned him the nickname “The Fifth Beatle.”
When WINS switched to an all-news format in 1965, Kaufman moved to WOR-FM/New York, where he pioneered the progressive rock format before the station switched formats a year later.
Bothered by the constrictions of Top 40 Radio, Kaufman joined NBC’s Monitor from 1969 to 1971. Eventually he left New York for California to host the syndicated Soundtrack of the '60s, but a battle with cancer forced him to step aside after a year.
Murray “the K” Kaufman” died on February 21, 1982.
He was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1997.