On this day- July 1, 1979 the Sony Walkman- the first personal stereo tape deck made it’s debut. It would go on to sell over 200 million units. At first in the US it was called the “Sound-About’ in the United Kingdom the “Stowaway.” Eventually Sony settled on The Walkman.
With the help of the Walkman- by 1983 cassette tapes would outsell vinyl records for the first time. Looking back I can remember getting my first Walkman in the early 1980’s and I couldn’t imagine anything better. What could ever top this I thought? Well the cassette tape era was a short lived one. Cassette tapes were awful. I did enjoy my Walkman though. I would end up buying a couple of them during the decade. The Walkman also helped get people walking. When I think of the Walkman the first thought I have is walking with it. During the height of its popularity the number of people walking increased by 30%. The original Walkman went for $150- which seemed like a good bit of money at the time.
At one time, I had one that also had an FM tuner and could record off air or with a mic. I really enjoyed the little unit and recorded a lot of music and interviews. One day it just stopped working. I replaced it with a Radio Shack recorder with similar features. I liked the Sony better, though.
Ahh … sure, cassette tapes had their limitations, but they weren’t awful. They made it possible to create our very own perfect mix tapes and party mixes, they allowed us to make tapes of “You gotta hear this” music and, most of all, they became the language of love for teen sweethearts. I treasured every single mix tape that my boyfriend made for me.
Yes I did love making mix tapes. I think my bad view of cassettes began when some them started to squeak after a few years.
Cassettes were better than 8 tracks in the era before.
I would totally agree. I have friends who gush over memories of 8 track tapes. I always hated them. I liked vinyl over cassettes but cassettes were ok- until some of them I had for a few years- started squeaking. .. the best thing about cassettes- were filling blank cassettes with songs for other people.
I got mine for my 14th birthday, in 1988. Loved it!