Murray the K worked as a promoter and producer through the 50’s, but he caught his big break in 1958 when he signed on with WINS in New York to do the all-night show. This was just as WINS’s star disk jockey, Alan Freed, was indicted for tax evasion and forced off the air. Freed’s spot was briefly occupied by Cousin Bruce, Bruce Morrow, but Murray was quickly moved into the time period and remained there for the next seven years.
When he left WINS, his next stop was at WOR-FM where. As program director and primetime evening DJ, he created the first FM rock station, setting the pattern for countless other stations that followed, including WNEW-FM and WCBS-FM.
Kaufman reached his peak of popularity in the mid 60s when, as the top-rated radio host in America’s largest market, he became an early supporter of The Beatles. Later, Murray was referred to as the “Fifth Beatle,” by George Harrison during a train ride from New York to the Beatles’ first U.S. concert in Washington, D. C. Their friendship was renewed when they came to NYC in February, 1964 and met again. He was invited to the set of A Hard Day’s Night in England and made several treks to England during 1964, giving WINS listeners more Beatle exclusives.
Following Alan Freed’s lead, Murray produced several concerts each year. Those shows featured the top performers of the era and introduced new acts, such as Dionne Warwick, Wayne Newton, Bobby Vinton (who was the leader of the house band when he asked for a chance to perform as a singer), The Lovin’ Spoonful, Cream, and The Who. Murray the K left WINS in the mid-60s when they switched formats, and worked at stations in Toronto and Washington D.C. before returning to New York to team with Don Imus and Wolfman Jack on WNBC.