Saturday, February 7, 2009

DJ Murray the K: The Fifth Beatle

Here are some Beatles facts that many fans may not know about. Murray Kaufman, better known as New York disc jockey Murray the K at WINS radio, was born in 1922. He worked in public relations and radio for many years in his early career, promoting celebrities and athletes alike, including American singers who would eventually visit England and tell the Beatles about the high-profile dic jockey before they visited America in 1964. His style was filled with fast talk, jokes, and sound effects.

Despite his long career in broadcasting, Murray the K will always be known as the disc jockey the Beatles allowed to accompany them on their first tour of America since the band had heard of him from various English artists who had appeared on his Brooklyn Fox rock and roll shows over the years. He broadcast his WINS show from the Plaza Hotel suite of the Beatles on their first night in America. After that, he accompanied the Beatles to their concert at the Coliseum in Washington, D.C. and then to Miami for the Beatles' second appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. In Miami, he roomed with George Harrison, and it is believed that Harrison gave him the nickname of "the fifth Beatle" (that title would sometimes be used in later years to describe dropped drummer Pete Best, although he is more commonly known as "the forgotten Beatle").

Murray the K was present at the Sullivan tapings and was allowed on the set of A Hard Day's Night. He also made several trips to England in 1964 to tape interviews with the Beatles as the group became more and more famous.

He died of cancer at age sixty in 1982. His career extends far beyond his contact with the Beatles, and to read more about Kaufman's considerable accomplishments in broadcasting and media in general, see Murray the K

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