(KLTV) - They only lasted about twenty years, but 8-track tapes were cutting-edge technology from the 1960's to the '80's.. April 11 is Eight Track Tape Day, but does anyone know what they are?
Really, to do a story on eight tracks, you have to have an eight track. Where am I going to get an eight track? Who has old stuff? A secondhand store like Gifts of Grace in Longview might. Let's see..Relativity by Einstein..and filed carefully nearby..an eight track!
A whole bunch of eight tracks actually. Mike Eades works there and knows about 8 tracks because he used to play them.
"I know back in the day we thought they sounded so good! Now, of course, if you play them you have to play them in an eight track player which doesn't sound that great," Mike said.
But I guess there's no proof either way since they don't have a player for sale.
"Now did you know that today is National Eight Track Day?" I asked Mike.
"I did not know that," Mike replied.
"Yes, it is," I affirmed.
"I will mark that in my calendar," Mike said.
So, eight tracks in hand I went to the people, and asked them if they knew what this boxy thing was.
"I've seen it before, but no I don't know," admitted Kim Wilson.
"You don't know?" I asked.
"No," she laughed.
"A video game," said James Webb.
"A video game?" I asked.
"Maybe?" he responded.
"What is it? It's a..I was going to say eight track, it's not an eight track though. Is it eight track tape?" Nicole Morrow said.
"It's an eight track," I confirmed.
"Eight track tape. Good answer, Nicole. Eight track tape! I'm proud of you!" said Nicole's friend Linda Martin who stood next to her.
"That was before my time," Nicole said.
"Do you know what this is?" I asked Misty Ryan.
"Yes," she replied.
"What is that?" I asked.
"An eight track," she said.
"Yes," I confirmed.
"It's an eight track," said Paul Wyant
"Very good," I exclaimed.
"My dad used to have these," Paul recalled.
Several people said that, which was a little depressing since I used to have these.
"I guess you won't be buying a player," I said to Kim.
"No, not soon," Kim stated.
"But they're so small," I offered.
"Yeah. Very small," Kim observed.
'I'll make you a mix tape," James Webb said to his wife Brianna.
There weren't as many recorders as players, although there were plenty of factory mix tapes available. It was surprising how many knew what the funky boxes were.
"It's an eight track," said four year old Hurricane Webb.
She may have had coaching. Records made a big comeback because people realized the sound quality was really good, but I tend to doubt the quality hidden in an eight track tape loop will rival a CD. Rest in peace, eight track.
Eight track tapes have become collectible. According to the website Value Your Music, a Beatles Abbey Road eight track in good condition recently sold for $878.