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Wayback Wednesday – Sounds of the 60’s

Wayback Wednesday – Sights, Sounds, and Styles of the 60’s
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Last week we talked about some of the Fashions of the 60’s, which included Bell Bottoms, Platforms Shoes, African and Indian Prints, Tie Dye, Bare Feet, and Leather Sandals.  With this series, I will be looping back to the fashion, but today I am focusing in on theSounds of the 60’s.
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Not just the types of music we listened to but how we listened to it.  Some of you may be surprised to learn that I still have in my possession all of the formats that were once very popular, including8-Track Tapes, Cassette Tapes, Vinyl Records, and Albums.
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8-Track Tapes:
According to Recording-History.org
The Eight Track tape recording system was popular from 1965 to the late 1970s. While today it has become an icon of obsolescence, it was a great commercial success and paved the way for all sorts of innovations in portable listening.
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The eight track tape consisted of an endless loop of standard 1/4-inch magnetic tape, housed in a plastic cartridge. On the tape were eight parallel soundtracks, corresponding to four stereo programs.
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For many people old enough to have owned an eight-track system, it is a technology associated with the automobile and in-car listening. Ironically, however, it was first developed not by the auto industry, but by a leading aircraft manufacturer: the Learjet Corporation.
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I found these in the attic of my uncle’s home after he died in 1992.  I didn’t want to discard them, so they are kept in the garage where once upon a time we played them in our cars.
Yep, fifty years ago, Ford installed their first automobile 8-track players, in its 1966 Mustang, Thunderbird and Lincoln models.
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Cassette Tapes:
According to Wikipedia:
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The Compact Cassette or Musicassette (MC), also commonly called cassette tape, audio cassette, or simply tape or cassette is an analog magnetic tape recording format for audio recording and playback. It was released by Philips in 1962, having been developed in Hasselt, Belgium.
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Compact cassettes come in two forms, either already containing content as a pre-recorded cassette, or as a fully recordable “blank” cassette. It was designed originally for dictation machines, but improvements in fidelity led the Compact Cassette to supplant the Stereo 8-track cartridge and reel-to-reel tape recording in most non-professional applications.
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Its uses ranged from portable audio to home recording to data storage for early microcomputers. The first cassette player (although mono) designed for use in car dashes was introduced in 1968. Between the early 1970s and the early 2000s, the cassette was one of the two most common formats for prerecorded music, first alongside the LP record and later the compact disc (CD).
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I still remember getting my first cassette player and using the mic to record into it.  My sister and I would spend hours singing silly songs and then play them back to the delight of my grandmother.  She would bring the cassette recorder to our school and have someone record our holiday concerts or to church to record the choir’s Jubilees.
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We were able to take it outside to play pre-recorded songs, flipping the tape over when it ended and of course, making mixed tapes was very popular in the 80’s.  I also remember answering machines with cassettes tapes and as did alarm clocks….see I still have one sitting on my nightstand – I know, I need to replace it with a Google Home. but there’s something nostalgic about it!
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Music always filled our apartment when the family was visiting and the sounds of the 60’s included R&B and Soul with Motown taking the top spot. Below is an actual picture of The Four Tops performing in our town of New Rochelle, NY in 1967.

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Four Tops performing in New Rochelle in 1967 MLXLS

 Motown’s the Four Tops performing in New Rochelle, New York, 1967

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Motown Logo SMLXL

The Detroit-based Motown label developed as a pop-influenced answer to soul music. The label had a long run of No. 1 U.S. hit singles in 1961 with “Please Mr. Postman” by the Marvelettes.

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Notable Motown acts included the Supremes, the Miracles, the Temptations, the Four Tops, Martha and the Vandellas, Marvin Gaye and the Jackson Five, who debuted in 1969.

  • Soul music developed popularity throughout the decade, led by Sam Cooke, James Brown and Otis Redding, among many others.
  • Funk begins later in the decade with James Brown and Sly & the Family Stone having early hits.
  • You Keep Me Hanging On uses a fast tempo which would prove innovative in the development of disco music.
  • Aretha Franklin’s 1967 recordings, such as “I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)”, “Respect” (originally sung by Otis Redding), and “Do Right Woman-Do Right Man”, are considered the apogee of the soul genre, and were among its most commercially successful productions.
Legends of Motown SMXLL
 
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The next Wayback Wednesday Sounds of the 60’s will be vinyl records 45’s / 33’s and albums because there was nothing better than spending hours on a Saturday morning at a local record shop.  Which is why there seems to be a resurgence of making and distributing vinyl records again.

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 For the younger generations today who can literally take their music anywhere, it may be hard for them to imagine a time when that wasn’t possible.  
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What were your favorite sounds of the 60’s?

An award winning Blogger, Vlogger and Social Media Strategist. Podcast Host for AAU Global Production Media Group. Instructor of social media and blogging; Influencer and Brand Ambassador for several major companies.

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