Retired teacher to Old Time Rock & Roll

Lee Douglas is….well let’s just say he’s in his 60’s and he turned in his chalk and text books in 2007 for a microphone. This former teacher has “retired” and has been podcasting oldies music – Old Time Rock and Roll of course to the world via his podcast program, available at www.oldtimernr.com

Lee began to translate his love for the music of the 50’s and 60’s lovingly called Oldies, into a relatively new medium, the podcast. Together with the folks at Talkshoe.com, he began his venture in late 2006.

His show would be different in the way it was presented. The usual play lists that are the hallmark of the Oldies AM radio stations were out the window. His own collection of 12,000 songs would be digitized into his computer to lay the groundwork for the show. Instead of playing those songs which the oldies lovers had grown tired of, he opened his collection and played the songs that haven’t been heard for many years. Then he would have a spotlight for each show, Novelties on one, doo wops on another, rockabilly on yet another. Each show replete with a dose of rock history and reminiscences.

Douglas researches each singer and each song to provide background for each show. In November 2006 he went on the air on talkshoe.com an internet based pod casting network. The first week he had 8 listeners. Obviously his friends had at least listened. By the third week he managed 80 listeners, still quite a jump. However, he was unprepared for the next week when out of nowhere 800 people listened in. Since then his show has grown to over 25,000 listeners each month.

Douglas’ Brooklyn bred voice can still be heard, even though he has been a Floridian for thirty years. He actually still takes requests and dedications just like in the old days.

As a retired teacher who spent 35 years in the classroom he just wanted to try something new. “I want to be my own boss”. “Now I can enjoy life and do something I couldn’t do before. That’s what makes retirement a treat for me.”

His focus is to make Old Time Rock n Roll even bigger and better with each passing week. With his success also means success to his podcasting network called Talkshoe.com. Douglas predicts that podcasting will be the biggest new media in the next few years.

I’ve been listening to Lee’s program from the earliest episodes and from a business perspective I’m impressed with the way he has built a sizable and dedicated community. Although he has experimented with various themes, program hosting platforms and formats, he has stuck to his formula of delivering a passionate program of 50’s, 60’s and sometimes 70’s Rock & Roll, with anecdotes, background stories and other interesting snippets to support the music. I suspect Lee suffers from the typical commercial problems of podcasters, that is attracting and maintaining sponsorship or advertising for the program. I know he also has a serious burden in maintaining information for the complex licensing issues  associated with playing copyrighted music.

Utilizing the Portable Career Network, I’d like to add value by helping identify ways to connect businesses like Lee’s to individuals and resources that can help them grow and in some cases survive. If you have business ideas surrounding the podcast medium comment below or contact us with your thoughts.

Lee is an inspiration to anyone starting a ‘lifestyle business’, particularly in retirement. I hope to bring you an interview with Lee in an upcoming episode of Lifestyle Business Stories. – In the meantime, checkout Old Time Rock & Roll.