DJ offers '60s tunes on Web

Thursday, June 19, 2003

On the Web, Richard Kaufman morphs into Ricky the K and brings the '60s alive again.

Kaufman's Solid Gold Time Machine site ( features old-school DJ chatter, more than 3,000 songs from 1955 to 1971 and classic commercials and jingles from the '60s.

Kaufman says he draws listeners worldwide who pay a subscription fee of $12.95 a month or $119.40 a year.

As a Webcaster, Kaufman has to pay a fee to the recording industry, ASCAP and BMI, but he builds that cost into his subscription rates.

Kaufman has gone to painstaking lengths to re-create the feel of the 40-year-old format. He uses much of the same sound equipment employed in the '60s: an RCA 77-DX mike (like the one adorning David Letterman's desk) that provides a big bass boost; tube compressor-limiters, refurbished with parts from 1964, that create a warm, dense sound free from digital distortion; a distinctive "plate" reverb setting; and 31 bands of equalization per channel.

"Put it all together, and that's the sound of '60s radio," he said.

Then there are the time-warp ads: some 200 old cigarette spots, dozens of soft drink and beer jingles, and movie promos from "The Ten Commandments" to "The Graduate."

"The typical oldies station plays the same 300 songs over and over, and can't sell advertising to anyone over 49," he said. "I play the real oldies, thousands of them. And I make it entertaining like they did when I was a kid."