Hands up, who out there owned an 8-Track player? Anyone? Bueller, Bueller?
For those young ones who may be reading, 8-Tracks were small cartridges that allowed you to play music in your car (where I’m sure the majority of 8-Track players were used.)
It was the first time many teenagers and young adults could make their music portable besides radio. Think of it as an early Ipod, sort of, but less expensive and with no software updates and breaks in the middle of songs – no, seriously!
Well, funny enough, my family had two Magnavox stereo sets (my dad was an electrical engineer for Magnavox) and I got the bug for 8-Tracks in the mid to late 1970s when I saw tons of them on sale in large bins marked down to $.99 or $1.50 at the local Musicland in the mall. Remember Musicland? Remember malls for that matter?
I knew we had the player and my older brothers played them (I have three older brothers and one sister, yes raised Catholic lol) and I loved the ability to take them in the car as well as the groovy shells. ( I am such a music geek!).
I remember the small yellow, yes yellow, Magnavox console player with the 8-Track player near the top by the turntable. I was introduced to quite a few of the solo Beatles albums through 8-Tracks – Wings “Venus and Mars”, John Lennon’s “Walls and Bridges”, Ringo Starr’s “Ringo” album – because they were inexpensive and readily available.
What’s even more strange is that Musicland stocked several imported 8-Tracks from the UK, several of which I still own (see photo below).
I believe I even got a few 8-Tracks from a Stuckey’s on I-69 along with a Partridge Family “Crossword Puzzle” album but that’s story for a different day.
I had quite a few 8-Tracks at one time and not surprisingly I still have a few – shocker (fellow hoarders take a bow!).
One of the most distinct memories I have was playing several of those 8-Tracks in my garage in 1979 while putting together a leaf collection for school. No wonder I always get the urge for wax paper, iron and glue every time I see a photo of an 8-Track!
Someday I’d love to get a small player and see if these babies would still work. The old Magnavox consoles went to the electronic graveyard several years ago.
Anyway, feast your eyes on some of the ones I have left.
Behold, the 1970s: