The things you find on three inch reels of tape! Offered today are two recordings, completely unrelated but having been recorded on that most personal of the reel tape, the easily mailable and easily shareable three inch reel.
First up, an audio letter from a father in Elgin, IL, to his daughter in Riverside, CA, in the summer of 1970. By recording at the slow speed of 1 7/8 inches per second, he was able to fit nearly 45 minutes onto this short amount of tape. Featured here is the second side only, for two reasons. First, the monologue on the first side is fairly uninteresting, and second, due to perhaps being insecure about his voice, the speaker decided he needed to have accompaniment, and turned on the radio, at roughly the same volume as he was speaking, and left it on, even during a newscast, over which he tried to speak. As you'll hear at the start of side two, he decided against going this route for the second half of his tape. And lucky for us that he did, for he has a story for his daughter (and us) that is well worth hearing, about an adventurous trip to Mexico that he had taken some time earlier. It takes a few minutes to get to it, but by the five minute point of the tape, we're well under way. And what a tale it is, filled with an unreliable car, dysentery, meetings with strangers, conversations between natives of four countries (none of them Mexican), in the shared language of English, and saving an elderly couple who had been stranded in a broken down car for hours. And those are just some of the high points. It's quite a story - have a listen! |
The other three inch reel for today contains a single song, by a band or singer who are not named on the package. The most relevant things on the tape box are "The Letter", and "IBOCCI", both typed out with one of those label guns that everyone had in the '60's and '70's, and "Aardvark Recording Studio". I was quite taken with this performance, which I would assume this was a vanity recording, or at least at the edge of such a definition - perhaps a band (or singer) who was making a professional quality tape in the hopes of securing some sort of contract, by performing The Box Tops biggest hit in their/his own way.
I'm not sure I'd call this good, but I do find it fairly compelling and very interesting: