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Vintage Tape (Audio), Cassette, Wire and Magnetic Disc Recorders and Players Open-reel tape recorders, cassette recorders, 8-track players etc.

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Old 29th May 2020, 2:07 am   #1
martin.m
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Default Interesting things on old tape reels

I bought a Grundig TK18 a few days ago and the reel of tape that came with it contained a complete "Pick of the Pops" top 20 programme from 1969 featuring the late Alan Freeman, in good quality sound too. Another one I found about five years ago had a recording of two children singing and reading from a story book. One of them gave the date, October 1974. Those kids will be in their mid fifties now! Has anyone else found anything interesting or unusual on old reels of tape?
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Old 29th May 2020, 6:47 am   #2
saxmaniac
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Default Re: Interesting things on old tape reels

Old radio 4 Week Ending shows from the early 70s. (Really good satire, it used to be a Friday night treat!) Some unidentified American comic, again satirical from the Trueman era
I wonder if anyone collects and preserves such stuff? It would be a shame to lose it
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Old 29th May 2020, 7:23 am   #3
Ted Kendall
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Default Re: Interesting things on old tape reels

I do, for one. Apart from the restoration of comedy programmes, which has taken up a lot of my time, topical stuff such a Week Ending is of particular interest, if only to show how little things change.
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Old 29th May 2020, 7:46 am   #4
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Default Re: Interesting things on old tape reels

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Originally Posted by martin.m View Post
I bought a Grundig TK18 a few days ago and the reel of tape that came with it contained a complete "Pick of the Pops" top 20 programme from 1969 featuring the late Alan Freeman, in good quality sound too.



Is there any way of you either digitising that recording or letting me have the recording to do it for you or better still, would you sell me the tape?
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Old 29th May 2020, 7:48 am   #5
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Default Re: Interesting things on old tape reels

May be worth contacting the beeb regarding Week Ending as even in the 70's/80's they weren't keeping stuff. Probably 10+ years ago now I sent the beeb a complete run of series 2 of a radio comedy called Tonys from 1981 as they hadn't got them so I suspect they will have gaps for Week Ending. I was in a group that pooled comedy recordings (thats how the Beeb found I had the Tonys recordings) and there is a l list of all episodes of Week Ending in the hands of members. Dont suppose you know the actual dates of the recordings?

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Old 29th May 2020, 7:57 am   #6
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Default Re: Interesting things on old tape reels

I got literally a wheelbarrow full of old R/R tapes. Someone had tossed dirt & gravel on top of the open reels. They had been cut down from the wide old computer tapes to fit R/R machines.
There were mass recordings from Leila Richter, a "Channel" from the "Other Side" on them. Dating, I think back into the 60's.
I cleaned a lot of the tapes, but the oxide was falling off a lot of them & clogging my machine up. I think I finally tossed the lot. They were interesting though, even if one believes or not about the readings. ( She was sort of a "J.Z. Knight" type lady in her later years. And yes, I have driven by J.Z.Knights compound numerous times.)
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Old 29th May 2020, 8:03 am   #7
Ted Kendall
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Raudive voices, anyone?
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Old 29th May 2020, 8:09 am   #8
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Default Re: Interesting things on old tape reels

I got some tapes from someone who worked at a local radio station in the mid 80's.
There were some adverts on a few of them, one which I remember was for Volvo cars voiced by Leonard Rossiter.
Unfortunately these now suffer from 'sticky-shed syndrome'.

Andy
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Old 29th May 2020, 8:14 am   #9
garry71
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Default Re: Interesting things on old tape reels

I digitised a couple of old tapes when I got them, can't bring myself to just wipe out old recordings.
One of them is a charity concert from the '70s with a choir singing show tunes and a couple of carols. It sounds like the choir mistress stopped them a couple of times and made them start again for making mistakes

An old tape of my dad's has TOTP recordings, plus some Steptoe episodes at 1 7/8 which I'll have to speed up in a DAW.
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Old 29th May 2020, 9:05 am   #10
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Default Re: Interesting things on old tape reels

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Originally Posted by Ted Kendall View Post
I do, for one. Apart from the restoration of comedy programmes, which has taken up a lot of my time, topical stuff such a Week Ending is of particular interest, if only to show how little things change.
I have some old BBC comedy on cassette. An ITMA programme; from 1943 I think. Off air from a radio re broadcast not sure when.

Also two cassettes each with two episodes of Round the Horne. Not sure of the date maybe 1970 ish

The ITMA is almost like a trial run for The Goon Show. With funny voices, eccentric characters and two musical interludes.

The jokes are contemporary with life in 1943 of course.
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Old 29th May 2020, 9:25 am   #11
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I was given box'es of cassette tapes ,when a friend passed away ,his wife was going to throw them in the bin , some early radio recording Anyone remember John Dunn ! I am slowly working my was through them ,I think of my good friend every time a play a tape he loved his music.Mick.
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Old 29th May 2020, 10:40 am   #12
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Anyone remember John Dunn !
I do! I did some brass band programmes with him in the 1980s. Nice chap, thorough professional and easy to work with. Mum loved his Radio 2 show because "he asks guests the questions you'd want to ask them yourself" - in other words, he did hs homework. He came up through the ranks, having started as a Studio Manager, and some of his first front-of-microphone work was on the "Sound" programme in the early 60s - discussing cheese-hunting...
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Old 29th May 2020, 10:52 am   #13
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Default Re: Interesting things on old tape reels

I bought an old Sony reel to reel machine with a reel still in it back in 2018, it has a label on it ‘spiritisme’ and it sounds like it’s in German (might not be though!) possibly recorded from the radio some time ago! Sounds a bit like some sort of show where someone is trying to contact spirits from the other side, very weird sounding! There is some cheesy music on the other side of the tape.

Oh, and the machine itself required nothing more than a motor run cap replacing to get it to play again!

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Old 29th May 2020, 12:13 pm   #14
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Default Re: Interesting things on old tape reels

I have tapes from "Sunshine Radio",Shropshire I think.Bought from a RadioPhile meeting way back,the tapes are 1984 or similar.
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Old 29th May 2020, 2:50 pm   #15
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Default Re: Interesting things on old tape reels

I have a large number of old reel to reel tapes (60's/70s mainly) a combination of tapes I have brought and tapes that came with machines, many of which I have not had time to listen to fully, some not at all.

Love listening to old tapes, you never know what is on them, sometimes old music one has not heard for more than 50 years or music one has never heard before. Foreign music can be interesting. Quite a lot of language recordings, English people leaning various languages and foreign people mainly learning English.

One of the little 3" Grundig Cub tapes that came with my Grundig Cub has a lady teaching her young children to read, these children will now have their own children and quite possibly Grandchildren by now.

Last year I brought a Grundig TK 141 which came with 6 or 7 old tapes, the seller said that he thought there might be some old family recordings on some of the tapes. I played through all of the tapes and found various bits of family recordings which I digitised and emailed to the seller.

He was overjoyed saying he and his family had not heard some of the recordings for well over 45 years, saying that the recordings were him and his sister when very young and their late father. He said he, his sister and his mother shed tears of happiness listening to his late fathers voice, which was very poignant in nice way to hear.
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Old 29th May 2020, 3:00 pm   #16
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Default Re: Interesting things on old tape reels

Back in my youth I used to record from the wireless via a microphone onto an old Elizabethan reel to reel, mainly Radio Caroline and Radio London(Big L). Still got the tapes but I used to pause the tape when the D.J's did the talking and so just got the music and that means I missed out the part that would be of more interest now. All the same I did get some Kenny Everett and John Peel when they were with Radio London in about 1966.. I've still got the recorder and the GEC radio that I recorded from. Doesn't seem long ago to me till I look in mirror.
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Old 29th May 2020, 3:57 pm   #17
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Anyone remember John Dunn !

No man is an island, entire of itself.......
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Old 29th May 2020, 4:14 pm   #18
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Default Re: Interesting things on old tape reels

At the risk of a 'whoosh' comment, I'll point out that it was John Donne wot wrote that.
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Old 29th May 2020, 4:16 pm   #19
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Default Re: Interesting things on old tape reels

I collect all kinds of spoken word recordings, especially language learning tapes. One-off microphone recordings on unlabelled reels and cassettes form most of my collection, you can see and hear some of the collection here and some of the resultant artwork made with the sounds here.

I have lots of fascinating (to me anyway!) taped letters from the age before widespread domestic telephones. Like little time capsules.

I have been contacted a few times by UK radio producers interested in the material but then nothing more came of it. Anyone interested in found sounds would be well advised to listen to Radio On Berlin.

I also have a few radio recordings like Radio Caroline and Luxemburg, Fluff, etc. and numerous BBC Schools recordings like History in Evidence, Drama Workshop and Time To Move.

Conicidentally Hamishboxer, I also have some Sunshine Radio and GLTK stuff, mostly jingles, picked up from a car boot sale in Knutsford decades ago! We'll have to compare 'em!
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Old 29th May 2020, 4:27 pm   #20
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Default Re: Interesting things on old tape reels

I deliberately seek out interesting / unusual tape recordings. I've got a few now:
  • Off-air recordings of the audio portions of the party political broadcasts for the 1970 general election.
  • Hospital radio jingles.
  • The theme music for a UK shipping company.
The trouble is finding equipment to play things back on! The reel to reel machine I have is a domestic one from the 60s, and is in rather poor shape, making it unsuitable for anything resembling a high-quality transfer. I really need a high-end 70s / 80s -era machine, but they're getting much more difficult to find these days.
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