Live365's "Featured Spotlight Station" this week is Vinyl Times Radio! We spoke with Ray Keeton about their setup, what listeners can expect to hear, and the station's favorite songs. Check out the interview below!
What brought you to Live365?
I worked as a DJ with the Armed Forces Radio and Television Service (AFRTS) back in the mid-70s while in the U.S. Air Force. I heard a co-worker from that time was doing some internet streaming and thought I would look into what would be involved in order for me to do something similar. Live365 came up in an internet search for online radio station streaming services. I looked at several others out there, but Live365 seemed to have the best combination of price, functionality, and ease of use for an internet radio novice such as myself. Plus, the Live365 rep I spoke with at length was VERY helpful in explaining how things work. I've been streaming Vinyl Times Radio for a few months now and I love it.
What's your studio like?
I have a home-based operation and do all my vinyl record recording and processing on a self-built dual-monitor Windows 10 computer with a little over 20TB of media storage. (I also do video work so I need the extra disk space.) I use a classic Technics SL-1200MK2 turntable for my vinyl record recording. It's a keeper from my mobile DJ days back in the 70s, 80s, and early 90s. My mic of choice is another classic, a 35-year-old Sennheiser MD421-U-5. My headphones are also Sennheisers, a pair of 414s that are also remnants from the 80s and still sounding great. In terms of studio monitors, I've been sold on Bose speakers since first hearing the sound that came out of a small pair of 301s back in the mid 70s. I've been pretty much a Bose speaker guy ever since. And from my time doing mobile and radio DJ work, I accumulated a few thousand vinyl records and they are the source for the music heard on Vinyl Times Radio. It's been somewhat of a labor of love digging through my boxes of LPs and 45rpms and putting choice vinyl selections on the turntable.
What can listeners expect when they tune in to your station?
As mentioned on my station profile page, Vinyl Times Radio is dedicated to the music from what I consider the best, and my favorite, years in music- the late 50s through the late 80s. And variety is the name of the game- pop, rock, R&B, country, Motown, funk, disco, and more, ranging from Patsy Cline to Pat Benatar and ABBA to ZZ Top. Also, unlike most other streaming stations, all of the music on Vinyl Times Radio is taken from the original vinyl records. That means you can expect to hear some pops, clicks, and a little record "noise" occasionally. But, I encourage people to embrace the imperfections as part of the listening experience they might remember from those days when vinyl records were the original social media. On Vinyl Times Radio, it's All Vinyl, All The Time!
What has been your favorite moment as a DJ/Station Manager so far?
Seeing folks tune in to the station for the first time was really cool. It was nice seeing that people were actually tuning in, and getting feedback on my Facebook page was also a real kick. I actually heard from a person who used to listen to my show when I was on the air back in the 1970s. At that time, I was working overseas with AFRTS while stationed in Keflavík, Iceland. It's nice to know some people actually appreciate what I'm trying to do with the station. I realize a true variety station doesn't appeal to the masses, but instead appeals to a specific type of person with varied interests. I know it may take time to build an audience, but I'm patient and very optimistic!
What is the best concert you've ever attended, and why?
Absolutely the best concert I've ever attended was Boston in 1976. They were the headline act in a trio that also included The Atlanta Rhythm Section and Starcastle. Fantastic performances by all and the crowd was wild! What a fun time! The very best small venue performance I ever experienced was a 1977 club appearance by Mother's Finest in Columbia, SC.
What artist (dead or alive) would you love to see live, but haven't had the chance to see?
Grand Funk Railroad and The Doobie Brothers are the two acts I wish I had taken the opportunity to see while they were still touring.
We asked for some of the station's favorite songs. Here's what they had to say!
Wow, this is a tough question, but I'll give it a shot. My personal favorites, in no particular order:
- Black Water - The Doobie Brothers
- Sweet Home Chicago - The Blues Brothers
- Street Corner Serenade - Wet Willie
- Rock and Roll Outlaw - Foghat
- Jazzman - Carole King
- Handy Man - James Taylor
- Brown Eyed Girl - Van Morrison
- Baby Love - Mother's Finest
- Rock & Roll Band - Boston
- 25 or 6 to 4 - Chicago
Live365 Broadcasters! Want the chance to be featured? Fill out the form at the following link: Featured Spotlight Submission Form. (Duplicate station entries will only be featured once. You must have a Live365 Broadcaster account.)