LifeShare Technologies recently released the CommunityShare Podcasts feature to all of its clients. The Podcasts feature provides a means of connecting seniors with compelling content on the Internet. LifeShare is pleased to welcome “Sunday at the Memories,” a syndicated radio show that first aired on January 4th, 1976. “Sunday at the Memories” is the work of Ray Durkee, a Broadcast Pioneers of Colorado Hall of Fame inductee. Ray originally created “Sunday at the Memories” as a nostalgia-oriented show featuring the music of the past, news and sporting events, movies, popular radio DJs, old time radio shows, commercials, TV shows, and just about anything from years gone by that would take a listener back in time from the 1940s to the 1980s. Ray was a great storyteller and radio professional who strived to reach his listeners through the stories he told about his life.
While Ray Durkee passed in 2009, his legacy lives on in the amazing archive of 1,500+ hours of recorded shows. In addition to downloadable content, a local radio station in Denver, 1430 AM, airs encore broadcasts each week on Sundays. In 2015, Ray Durkee joined nearly 70 other legendary broadcasters in the Broadcast Pioneers of Colorado Hall of Fame. His son, James, and daughter, Raeanne attended the induction in his honor.
James Durkee, Ray’s son, explained the inspiration behind providing access to “Sunday at the Memories” to more individuals through an internet-based download: “When my father syndicated ‘Sunday at the Memories’ he employed me for 10 years. I was responsible for all the tape duplication and shipping of the shows each week to the radio stations around the country. So I had a good understanding of the shows and the sequencing. About two weeks before [my dad] died, I was talking with him and he asked if the world wide web was for audio like the Internet is for text. I explained the web could be used for many types of multimedia content. I never forgot that question he asked, and in early 2015 I was looking for a new project to work on. I decided I’d pull his analog reel to reel master recordings of the shows out of storage and see if the tapes were still in good condition for digitizing. They turned out to be fine and so I began to archive and digitize each of the shows. We launched Sunday at the Memories on the web and began to stream the shows and offer them for individual downloads.”
“Sunday at the Memories” provides avenues to reach seniors through time periods with which they are familiar. James Durkee recalled the decision to market to seniors: “While going through [my dad’s] paper archives I found a letter in which he was talking with a colleague about offering a music service to “nursing homes” that would feature the nostalgic content he was creating. I approached a local retirement community, Eastern Star Masonic Retirement Community here in Denver and we agreed to do a trial together. They play the shows on an in-house cable system that broadcasts into each resident’s room and all the common areas of the community. The shows became a hit with some of their residents, and using the shows they were able to make connections with some of the residents that would not open up to others.”
LifeShare currently has 6 episodes in 6-part segments within the Podcast channel of CommunityShares with additional episodes coming in August. James Durkee echoes LifeShare’s excitement for the partnership, “I’m very happy to have this opportunity to partner with LifeShare and provide great memories and ‘Theater of the Mind’ to help keep the imaginations of listeners active!”