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November 07, 2007



What, no Boxcar Willie?
I had no idea I was programmed by "freedom rock". I immediately started singing along verbatim. I have the damn thing memorized.

Resident Clinton

Oh, I wish there were some Boxcar Willie! Those are burned into my brain as well as lots of other records by artists sold only on the television. No ads I could find on the net, though. At least not yet.


I used to have an undying love for Ktel until they went cash crazy over the last couple of years. There was this great website called that was a tribute to the ktel compilations. Lisa, the woman that ran it, even created a search engine so you could search artists and songs and find out what albums they appeared on. Ktel loved her site and even invited her up to Canada to create a discography of their output, as they never bothered to keep track of all their albums. They also gave her content to feature on her site. Then about a year later they forced her to shut down unless she paid them a ton of money, saying she was profiting off their label, which she wasn't. Ktel actually went after any sites they could find that had tributes to their label and forced them to shut down. Lisa did more to celebrate Ktel than the label ever did, and they completely missed the point.

My memories of Ktel are great, but the Ktel of today kind of sucks.


It seems I've owned a lot of those albums over the years without even trying, despite a few that I specifically purchased, a lot I just ended up with when roommates moved out and left their records behind, or when purchasing a huge bulk lot of records. My favorite cover is probably "The ROCK Album"-- seems like some kind of self-referential joke. The worst thing about those K-Tel LPs is that they would squeeze so many songs onto a side, resulting in super quiet playback levels.

Dale Hazelton

What were the compilations you put on the console and immediately realized they were soundalike recordings? Was that Ronco that put that stuff out? I know there was a british label as well....Those really sucked! That and the later "Hooked on..." medleys.

The marketing and art department at K-Tel must have been thin at best -- whoever came up with the title "Freedom Rock" and did the American flag graphics for a disjointed collection that included Brit bands Derek and the Dominoes and the Moody Blues should go back to trade school.

Dale Hazelton

OOOOHHHH! Here you go for kicks! This is just what I was talking about!

Search what "WookieCookie" has posted for tons of fun.


Extraordinary cheese. Thank you. Excuse me, I think I have something in my eye....

Sorcerer Mickey

They all owe something to the old late-night 30-minute infomercials with Don Ameche flogging the "Worlds Most Beloved Melodies", a multi-disc set of 3-minute excerpts of recognizable classical music samples.

Dale Hazelton

That was actor John Williams (he played the brother of Mr. French one season on Family Affair). To paraphrase, "You may recognize this lovely tune as "Stranger in Paradise." But did you know that it is really the "Polovetsian Dance Number Two by Borodin?"


Sweet mother of god, for a few moments there, you caused me to regress to the age of about 12... THAT'S NOT FUNNY, DALE, STOP IT!

Webhamster Henry

K-TEL ad style was also parodied in the title credits for the great Altman film NASHVILLE!


ahh, the readers digest of music

Dan Taylor

I've always heard about but have never seen the commercial for K-Tel's 'Street Wave' compilation which was their attempt at an "edgy" compilation featuring the Ramones, Cheap Trick, Pretenders and Elvis Costello...


Say what you will about "Freedom Rock", but FOUR LPS worth of HITS!!?? (for a dollar at a thrift store = bargain of the century.)


That background visual romance vignette that corresponds with the music in the Lakeshore Records commercial is fuckin' hilarious.


Had I become a high school "Health" or "Family Living" instructor I would've included it in the course for its arguable
value in vaguely unconscious social programming.(Blecchh!)


Speaking of Elvis Costello, does anybody remember a commercial that he did for Get Happy!! that was in the style of these commercials?

Vic Perry

The ONLY time I have been ahead of any rock or pop music curve whatsoever - well, except for recognizing that "Pinky Blue" was sui generis way back in 1983 - wait, I'm still ahead of that particular curve --- um, was when I starting buying up all the 70's K-Tel records I could find in the mid-80's. Because of course anything "70's" was considered in the 80's to be lower than dogshit, therefore cheap and plentiful.

But the only one I actually owned in the 70's was an early one: "Fantastic." What an insane record! Not only "Hocus Pocus" by Focus and "Little Willy" by Sweet but one of the most god-forbidden, ill-conceived, yet-still-entertaining singles ever: "Free Electric Band" by Albert Hammond. Lovers of "revolutionary" baby boomer sanctimony (and anybody who misses Charlie's show already) should check it out.

Vic Perry

Hey, that Lakeshore Music soft rock commercial actually has a plot!!!


hi i collect k-tel albums, i have 150 and counting, the thing about k-tel albums was there was stuff on there that were not hits but should have been. jb

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