Viva la 8-Track

On Sept. 15, 1965, the Ford Motor Company offered factory-installed 8-track tape players for three of its 1966 models — Lincoln, Thunderbird and Mustang. The dealer-installed deck was also an option with tapes initially sold only in auto parts stores (players for home stereos were a year way from production). RCA Victor was the first label to mass produce its catalog in the new format.

For 8-tracks, albums were reduced and re-structured to fit on (accommodate) four separate channels of 8-10 minutes duration. I can still recall the clunky “ka-chunk” sound of the 8-track player as it switched to the next channel — sometimes in mid-song. The first 8-track I ever heard was “Sgt.Pepper” while riding in a friend’s older brother’s Camaro—and the ka-chunk was annoyingly obnoxious.

I never bought an 8-track tape, but a friend who knew I liked Todd Rundgren gave me “Runt. The Ballad of Todd Rundgren,” and I still have it on a shelf with other cassettes and reel-to-reels.

About poppaculture

I am a seasoned consumer of modern (and not so modern) culture.
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1 Response to Viva la 8-Track

  1. Tom says:

    And so while I still have my original copy of Runt — and an even a fresher vinyl backup — I still have to admit it took me thirty-seven years to figure it out.

    Laura, you know it’s really been such a long, long time.

    Laura Nyro.


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