I was reintroduced to an old technology on Wednesday. Tommy Wilcox from Tommy Wilcox Outdoors and Game Face Calls stopped by 95.3 The Bear and presented me with a rare vintage Johnny Lee cassette tape titled 'Buckmasters Presents Woods and Waters with Johnny Lee'. The cassette was from Curb Records in 1989. Tommy received the tape via mail from country star Johnny Lee who'd had given him permission to use a track for a project he is working on. Tommy turned to The Bear in hopes we could 'dub' the tracks from the tape to a CD. We dusted off the old cassette player, plugged in a few cables and were able to help. We will be presenting Tommy with his new CD tomorrow.

In the mean time, I have been thinking about how far we have come in terms of how we consume our favorite music. According to the website vintagecassettes.com, in 1878, Oberlin Smith (Mechanical engineer) develops a theory of magnetic recording after a visit to Edison's lab. It wasn't until August 1963 when Philips introduced a prototype of the modern compact cassette in Europe (at the Berlin Radio Show).

Cassettes changed the game again in 1979 when SONY released the first Walkman! As the quest for better sound continued, Phillips is credited with the first Compact Disc release in 1980, 32 years ago.  Wow. I was 6 years old, jammin' out to Johnny Lee's "Lookin for Love" from the "Urban Cowboy" soundtrack on my new Walkman!

VintageCassettes.com also states that with the introduction of CD's, "The sales declined but they well still high for 10 or so years. The global sale of blank cassettes in 1996 was 2.098 billion pieces. In 1997 this decreased by 4.5% to 2.003 billion.'

One interesting aside,  a New York Times article reports that the last car to be manufactured with a cassette player in the dashboard was the 2010 Lexus!

Now we have CD's, iTunes, Mp3 players, iPods, Smartphones and the Compact Tape is dead and CD's are dying fast. It is nice to come across an old technology that changed the world in a way. Thanks Tommy Wilcox and Johnny Lee for giving me reason to take a trip to the past.

I still have a drawer full of old cassettes but nothing to play them on..maybe I should 'dub' them to CD's...no wait, I'd better go the mp3 route...I wonder what will be next? Until I decide, I'll break out a number 2 pencil and rewind a few of them.


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