K-Tel compilation records used to be everywhere when I was growing up. Then out of know where they just seem to disappear. Remember K-Tel? “As Seen On TV” began with K-Tel. If you ever wondered what happened to K-Tel, I have the rest of the story.
K-Tel records were always a part of my youth growing up in Warren, Michigan. What did we do before the internet, Napster, Spotify, and streaming? K-Tel records were a great way to build up your music collection without spending a fortune on buying entire albums to get the big hits of the day. I had more than a few of these albums and some I still have in my collection. The only problem was they didn’t sound as great as the artist’s original album. And to fit all those songs on one album they used micro-grooves to squeeze as much as they can on both sides.
Artists made easy money selling the rights to use their hit songs. Some albums contained 15 to 20 songs. I have one that has 22 artists on it. Some songs also did what they call a radio edit and sliced and diced a hit song down to a little over 3 minutes. K-Tel was a master at the promotion of each album on tv with flashy cheesy commercials. So started the trend, “As Seen on Tv.” Just like over the past years a compilation called “Now That’s What I Call Music,” series which is up to 84 volumes on cd.
Remember K-Tel? “As Seen On TV”
So what happened? They simply stopped releasing records. In 1984 the company, after many bad investments and bad deals, filed for bankruptcy and tried to make a comeback. But never regained its former glory. According to the K-Tel website, it’s still in music but just the music licensing of songs. It’s still fun at my household to slap a few on the turntable to hear the nostalgic music from those years.
Now enjoy some of the wacky TV commercials from back in the day.