This Movie May Bore You "Tho" If you Collect Reel to Reel Tapes, Prolly Not!

A few weeks ago I visited a woman in Portland, OR whose husband ran tape duplication services for GRT Records (GRT owned the Chess catalog in the early 70s and provided tape duplication services for many labels).

She's had a rough few years and needed help with this collection of 200+ 10" reels, which I'm trying to help her sell. I flew out to Portland to help her. Glad I did. Without intruding upon her personal space, I won't go into details of what she's faced and is now dealing with but I'll tell you that she's a former jazz disc jockey, jazz photographer and was friends with among other musicians Count Basie. She was also a professional clown who twice played the White House. Once for Carter and once for Reagan. Feel free to make your own clown wisecracks here. I'm not going to touch that one!

This video is a reel by reel video catalog of the tapes and nothing more. You might find interesting some of what I found! Or you might be bored. You have been warned!

Also, I flew in and arrived late at night the evening before I started shooting this and it took me a few minutes to get up to speed as you'll see and hear.

I'll say this: she baked and played some of these tapes and they are wow!

I'll also say this: anyone who thinks I'm vain will have to change their mind after watching this video. I'm close up, no makeup, jet-lagged and showing me at my most unflattering angles, but The show must go on! so there you have it....

Plus, once rested and showered I looked like this:

timorous's picture

For those who don't know about these Cruisin' recordings. These were (I believe) re-creations of a typical radio show of the period (50s & 60s), featuring the actual DJ of the period, plus various commercial spots and station ID jingles. The hit songs usually have the DJ talking over the beginnings and ends of the tunes. Kind of fun, I guess.

These were issued in the early 70s, during the rock & roll nostalgia craze, which spawned such things as American Graffiti, and Happy Days.

AnalogAudioInc's picture

For those who don't know... Those album covers were drawn the comic book artist, Mike Royer. Mike also worked ar Disney for many years.

richiep's picture

I wonder if Ken is watching? As I watched the smell of the Ampex Tape boxes emitted from my computer! Amazing how much time would be needed to catalog and determine if any can be use to produce a vinyl lp record. They could be a terrific gift for the Artists and their families. I've seen a Cruisin series from the late 50's to early 70's I think from Canada of compilations on vinyl made in the early 80's maybe? I'm sure the family is grateful for your help, great job!

arcman67's picture

Looks like a nice collection.

ivansbacon's picture

Hmm, Unflattering Angles Is my clown name.
Clowns in the White House, I seem to remember an album with that title, or was it PBS documentary?

I have some tapes but I need a quadraphonic RtR tape player.

I do have some of the cruisin LP's.

arcman67's picture

I bet Al would put the video on his site.

jeffrosen's picture

Wonder if Universal Music would be intereested in these tapes. Considering many of their masters went up in smoke 10 years ago, no idea what they are working with at this point. Several of these might be helpful to fill in missing analog masters that are close to the original generation

LyndonSoulGroove's picture

really enjoyed this, so good to see these, and look forward to some of them being pressed on Vinyl

stretch35's picture

…like the guy you bought records from at a “buck a record” “Isn’t it great they are all buying your records. Seriously if Sir Elton passes on Tiny Dancer 15 ips… I’m in.

Andy1974's picture

I though the Mine Ripperton tapes were lost. I don't think there has been a decent pressing ever. That would be a great release for someone like Vinyl Me Please.

& ....Sticky Fingers .....please

jkorten's picture

All my Ampex tapes had a hydrophilic backing that completely rotted and flaked off. All my masters from my recording career - were trashed. Ampex was sued out of existence due to this. So they may look OK but I doubt they will play well.

AnalogAudioInc's picture

Hi MIchael,

Once you figure this out I'd be very interested in hearing what is available. I am the "Man Who Saves Tapes" You may remember we did a video interview. I may actually have the mates to some of these.

marmil's picture

Most of what's on that tape ended up. on Metamorphosis. Just thought you'd like to know. And if you're serious about releasing the Cruisin' series, I have a label that might be interested. aAnd yes, I watched the whole damn thing!

groovingarrett's picture

Quite a find, Michael. These appear to be duplication masters for cassette and 8-track manufacture.

The Beach Boys tapes are definitely duplication masters for cassette tapes, based on the 4XT master numbers on the tape box.

GRT was manufacturing cassettes and 8-tracks for a number of the labels in the video, including Arista. "I Robot" was released in 1977 on cassette through GRT. The Nazz 8-track? Manufactured by GRT in 1968.

SoundHeritage's picture

Wonderfull find ! We are a Repair Shop in France, and we will organize days of listening soon. We have a very good Denon DH-610s reel to reel player, and if one tape in Nab correction, 15 ips is available in this liste, we will be very interested to have one.
your blog and youtube channel is very interesting.

Feel free to contact us.
Best regards

Stu Morgenstern's picture

It took me a while but I finally finished watching your interesting video. I own two Teac machines, a 2300SX and a 3300S purchased for $5.00 each about 10 years ago. Except for the sticky pinch rollers they have operated flawlessly all this time, even though they are about 50 years old. I own about 30 10” tapes and about 150 7” mostly purchased from EBay. Most of my recordings are from Spotify and they sound great. My wife thinks I’m nuts and she’s probably right. Anyway, I loved watching your video and hope you can do more reel to reel stories.

Toce1977's picture

I don't like this movie but I love playing suika game more