Earlier this fall I sent off three of my grandfather’s magnetic audio reels to South Tree for conversion to digital format. Pop recorded these in the early 1960s, and until last fall they had been sitting in a basement. I frankly wasn’t sure if any of the audio had survived when I sent them off. It turned out that the audio had survived in great condition for its age.

These magnetic reels were essentially an earlier version of a mixtape, recorded with a device with a small microphone. Pop recorded the kids (my mother and aunts and uncles) in some of them, he recorded Kennedy’s Cuban Missile Crisis speech on one of them, and he recorded Christmas music on them. These magnetic reels are large, roughly 9×9″ for perspective.

I’m not sure where the audio I’m sharing below came from. This reel has Mitch Miller on Side 1, but Side 2’s audio is totally different character and not at all like commercial music. You can hear my grandfather introducing the recording, recorded Christmas Eve 1962. He was about 35, and within two years would move with my grandmother from Philadelphia to Bucks County where he taught history at Central Bucks West.

 

  • Polish, Russian, Czech, Slovakian, German, etc. Christmas choral music
  • A Child Will Come, choir music
  • Sleigh Ride
  • Greensleeves (Orchestral)
  • It’s Time for  Mistletoe and Holly
  • Little Italian Girl’s Christmas