In my basement, there sit hundreds of reel to reel tapes. Most of them are there because of my close to 25 years of seeking out odd, wonderful, obscure or unexplainable recordings on reels. Whenever I've had the chance to buy old reels - either marked in some intriguing way or simply very old and unlabeled in any way - I've usually taken that chance. Sure, many of them turn out to contain nothing more than someone's classical collection, Herb Alpert records or simply blank, but a good percentage have something at least fairly interesting, and some of them are just amazing.
This last category has included dozens of audio letters, lots of advertising samplers, all sorts of family recordingsm as well as rare media recordings (radio and TV from the '50's and early '60's), to name just a few categories. There's even a whole batch of tapes from someone who apparently ran a nudist colony in the 1960's, containing his various radio appearances and other related recordings, promoting his business and explaining the concept. Collecting tapes is also how I was first introduced to Merigail Moreland, as well as the Star Ads, both of which I've shared here multiple times in the past.
Today, the contents of two of those tapes. These tapes are representative of the collection, although I don't claim them to be the best or most interesting. They are simply the first ones I grabbed from an at-best moderately un-arranged collection. I will continue to digitize tapes from this collection as one part of my series of posts.
The first tape, as seen in the back of the box, above, contains outtakes from a recording session for what I'm guessing was a slide show or a filmstrip presentation regarding the 1959 products from the Homko company, makers of lawn mowers and related products. Ads for 1959 Homko products can be seen here, and here.
This would appear to be from the tail end of a recording session, and I just love the guy's peppy voice, and some of the things that he says upon blowing a take. Following the Homko ad is a short segment of an advertising segment for something called Marhofer Meats.
For completion sake, here are two brief (and not terribly interesting) segments which were also on this reel, recorded over one channel of the ad session, both featuring young people (the second one actually begins with some unidentified Asian music):
The other of today's reels contains 12 advertisements for five businesses and six additional public service anti-drug ads. Based on the businesses involved, it appears that these were all produced in and/or for the Pacific Northwest and Alaskan markets. I'm not actually sure that the second batch is for a phone company - no company is named - but this seems the most likely customer. My favorite is the Grizzly Burger ad, particularly a line about Chicago, and the anti-drug ads. Anyone else think that might be Ken Nordine on the last one? And speaking of the last one, what is the person in the background humming? It sounds to me like the tune to "I want a girl, just like the girl who married dear old dad", but that can't be right, can it?