Sears Model

223.21020700    8 Track

Tape Player


Audition Model 877

Track Tape Player

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History of The 8 Track Tape Player

Music of the 8 Track Period

History of the Period


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William Powell Lear, of LearJet fame also  invented  the 8-track  tape system. During the early 1960s, a number  continuous-loop audiotape systems existed. Lear's 8-track was not the first of its kind. Lear's  cartridge was just like  the 4-track tape invented earlier. The difference between the two is that for the 4-track, the pinch roller is found inside the player. In an 8-track, the pinch roller is in the tape cartridge.

The modification was made to  reduce tape tangling and  to help Lear get  a patent for his invention. 4-track also  divided the tape itself into four channels or tracks, thus making  two stereo programs. This limited play time to 40 minutes. Lear divided his tape into eight channels or tracks.

 Each system used a tape head which repositions itself along the width of the tape  to change programs.  Misalignment of the tape head or  the tape in the cartridge  in an 8-track system  produces audible shadows of the other tracks  A 4-track, with its wider channels does not have as much of a problem with this.

Lear's main accomplishments were in   marketing. All 1966 Fords came with a factory installed  8-track player in the dash. In  1967  Chrysler and GM did the same thing. Other tape systems provided competition including 4-track. The only real competition was the cassette tape system which came out at the same time and  vinyl records.

 8-track was the most popular  portable and car audio system of the 1970s. Record clubs like Columbia House continued to offer  8-track tapes  into the 1980s

The 8-track format owed much of its success to it adoption by many important companies.  These  included the Ampex Magnetic Tape Company, Lear Jet Company and RCA Records.

The 8track/4track cassette system was the only practical way of bringing the high quality sound of magnetic tape stereo high fidelity recording to the automobile. With a push of a button the driver could select the desired music. Cassettes went easily into the machine while driving.

 Home players came out a year later than car players. 

Cassette tape systems became popular as stand alone players not attached to cars and run by batteries. Although the sound quality was not as good cassettes were cheaper.

How 8 track players work.  by Radio Shack (R), brand name Realistic(R), factory number #1093073:

This continuous-loop magnetic tape has been developed especially for self-contained automatic operation without rewinding or re-threading. By continuous -loop, we mean that the tape, in effect, is endless. You may observe that the back side of the tape (which is dark gray in appearance) seems to have a sheen. This is the application of a specially prepared lubricant formulation which has been specifically engineered for these continuous-loop cartridges. This lubricant permits the tape to flow freely, thus increasing tape life as well as decreasing head wear. You can see that the tape goes from left to right. The tape is first pulled from the inside of the reel, out, then around the plastic guides, across the head and played, and then is pulled by a turning shaft around a wheel, back down to the outside of the reel. The fact that the tape is physically contacted by the player's mechanism, dragged, stretched, and pulled along instead of reeled just maybe, might possibly be the reason for the short physical lifespan and low fidelity of the recordings.

You can also see that, as the player selects programs, which consist of two tracks, the head moves up and down to accommodate for each program. There are usually four programs to a tape, all four running by simultaneously, but only one being played at once. If you attempt to play an 8-track's reel on a 4-track reel-to-reel tape machine, you'll end up playing two songs at once. This can also happen on an 8-track player if the tape is worn out, and/or slightly misaligned.

How to fix an 8-track tape

The main problem with 9 track tapes is that  the glue which holds the tape loop together breaks down. The tape  comes apart. Don't worry. Your machine did not eat the tape although it seems like it.

First,  open the tape.

The tabs hold  it together. There may be also a central screw, or  both. Remove the front label to get to the screw/ tabs. Next unscrew the screw or  use a dull  butter knife to loosen the tabs. Carefully  take the front cover off of the tape. Hold  the tape tightly  against a flat surface. Once you get into the  insides of the tape, splice the two separated ends of the tape loop back together, making sure each side of the tape are attached at the same point.  Re-thread the tape through the path.   Turn the spool clockwise tightening the tape. Then Re-assemble.


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Music of the 70s
The years that the 8track system was most popular.


Bridge Over Troubled Water-- Simon & Garfunkel
I’ll Be There-- Jackson Five
Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head-- B.J. Thomas
Close to You-- Carpenters
My Sweet Lord-- George Harrison
I Think I Love You-- Partridge Family
Ain’t No Mountain High Enough-- Diana Ross
American Woman-- Guess Who
War-- Edwin Starr
Let It Be-- Beatles


Joy to the World-- Three Dog Night
Maggie May-- Rod Stewart
It’s Too Late-- Carole King
One Bad Apple-- Osmonds
How Can You Mend a Broken Heart-- Bee Gees
Knock Three Times-- Dawn
Brand New Key-- Melanie
Go Away Little Girl-- Donny Osmond
Family Affair-- Sly & the Family Stone
Gypsies, Tramps & Thieves-- Cher



The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face-- Roberta Flack
Alone Again (Naturally)-- Gilbert O’Sullivan
American Pie-- Don McLean
Without You-- Nilsson
I Can See Clearly Now-- Johnny Nash
A Horse with No Name-- America
Baby Don’t Get Hooked On Me-- Mac Davis
Me and Mrs. Jones-- BillyPaul
The Candy Man-- Sammy Davis, Jr.
Lean On Me-- Bill Withers



Killing Me Softly with His Song-- Roberta Flack
Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Old Oak Tree-- Dawn
My Love-- Paul McCartney & Wings
You’re So Vain-- Carly Simon
Crocodile Rock-- Elton John
Let’s Get It On-- Marvin Gaye
Keep On Truckin’-- Eddie Kendricks
Bad, Bad Leroy Brown-- Jim Croce
Top of the World-- Carpenters
Midnight Train to Georgia-- Gladys Knight & the Pips



The Way We Were-- Barbra Streisand
Seasons In the Sun-- Terry Jacks
The Streak-- Ray Stevens
Having My Baby-- Paul Anka
Kung Fu Fighting-- Carl Douglas
Billy, Don’t Be a Hero-- Bo Donaldson & the Heywoods
Annie’s Song-- John Denver
The Loco-Motion-- Grand Funk
TSOP (The Sound of Philadelphia)-- MFSB with the Three Degrees
I Can Help-- Billy Swan



Love Will Keep Us Together-- Captain & Tennille
Fly, Robin, Fly-- Silver Convention
Island Girl-- Elton John
He Don’t Love You-- Tony Orlando & Dawn
Bad Blood-- Neil Sedaka
Rhinestone Cowboy-- Glen Campbell
Philadelphia Freedom-- Elton John
That’s the Way (I Like It)-- KC & the Sunshine Band
Jive Talkin’-- Bee Gees
Fame-- David Bowie



Tonight’s the Night-- Rod Stewart
Silly Love Songs-- Wings
Don’t Go Breaking My Heart-- Elton John & Kiki Dee
Disco Lady-- Johnnie Taylor
Play The Funky Music-- Wild Cherry
December, 1963 (Oh What a Night)-- Four Seasons
50 Ways to Leave Your Lover-- Paul Simon
Kiss and Say Goodbye-- Manhattans
If You Leave Me Now-- Chicago
Love Hangover-- Diana Ross



You Light Up My Life-- Debby Boone
Best of My Love-- Emotions
I Just Want to Be Your Everything-- Andy Gibb
How Deep Is Your Love-- Bee Gees
Evergreen (from "A Star Is Born")-- Barbra Streisand
Sir Duke-- Stevie Wonder
Torn Between Two Lovers-- Mary MacGregor
Rich Girl-- Daryl Hall & John Oates
Star Wars Theme/Cantina Band-- Meco
Got to Give It Up-- Marvin Gaye



Night Fever-- Bee Gees
Shadow Dancing-- Andy Gibb
Le Freak-- Chic
Stayin’ Alive-- Bee Gees
Kiss You All Over-- Exile
Boogie Oogie Oogie-- A Taste of Honey
Baby Come Back-- Player
MacArthur Park-- Donna Summer
Thicker Than Water-- Andy Gibb
Three Times a Lady-- Commodores



My Sharona-- The Knack
Bad Girls-- Donna Summer
Da Ya Think I’m Sexy?-- Rod Stewart
Reunited-- Peaches & Herb
Hot Stuff-- Donna Summer
I Will Survive-- Gloria Gaynor
Escape (The Pina Colada Song)-- Rupert Holmes
Ring My Bell-- Anita Ward
Babe-- Styx
Too Much Heaven-- Bee Gees




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History of the 1970s

Computers, technology

* Pocket calculators A calculator is a small special-purpose device for performing numerical calculations. It should not be confused with a calculating machine. Nowadays many people always have a calculator with them as part of their mobile phone and/or personal digital assistant. Engineers and accountants often make use of calculators for problems where a computation is not complex enough to demand the use of a general-purpose computer. School pupils and students often use calculators for school work. Also, some wrist watches contain a calculator (although this was more a fad of the 1980s).
..... Click the link for more information. make the slide rule obsolete.
* Home computer revolution starts
* Unix created along with C programming language
* Microsoft is founded (1975)


* Viking missions to Mars
* Voyager spacecraft explore the outer solar system
* Theory of quantum chromodynamics postulated to describe the strong interaction, one of the four fundamental forces of nature

War, peace and politics

* fear of Nuclear war
* The United Kingdom, Ireland and Denmark join Common Market in 1973.
* Watergate break-in, cover-up, and scandal, leading to U.S. president Richard Nixon's resignation
* Widespread strikes and industrial unrest in the United Kingdom throughout decade.
* Margaret Thatcher elected Britain's first female prime minister.
* Democracy established in Spain after death of dictator Francisco Franco who ruled for 40 years.
* Democracy established in Portugal after dictatorship overthrown in military coup.
* Coup in Chile topples government of Salvador Allende, who is replaced by Augusto Pinochet.
* Elected government in Pakistan replaced by Martial Law.
* Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge government in Cambodia results in 2.5 million deaths.
* USSR begins disastrous military campaign in Afghanistan.
* Iranian revolution and hostage situation
* end of Vietnam War
* Indonesia invades East Timor and follows it with a long occupation.
* Rise of environmental awareness and green movements, peace movement and women's liberation in Europe and the USA. First Earth Day (1970). Whole Earth Catalog becomes widely popular and wins National Book Award.


* high inflation
* high unemployment
* OPEC oil embargo (see 1973 energy crisis and 1979 energy crisis)


* Disco, Punk rock, Gothic rock music
* Star Wars
* An age of superstars and idols in sports, music, literature and film.
* Jamaican reggae music begins to gain an international audience, while dub music influences African Americans in New York City, leading to the development of hip hop


* Indonesian Archaeological Service and UNESCO restore Borobodur

World leaders

* Gough Whitlam (Australia)
* Pierre Trudeau (Canada)
* Mao Zedong (People's Republic of China)
* Deng Xiaoping (People's Republic of China)
* President Chiang Kai-shek (Republic of China on Taiwan)
* President Yen Chia-kan (Republic of China on Taiwan)
* President Anwar Sadat (Egypt)
* President Urho Kekkonen (Finland)
* President Georges Pompidou (France)
* President Valéry Giscard d'Estaing (France)
* Prime Minister Indira Gandhi (India)
* President Suharto (Indonesia)
* President Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr (Iraq)
* Prime Minister Golda Meir (Israel)
* Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin (Israel)
* Prime Minister Menachem Begin (Israel)
* Emperor Hirohito (Japan)
* Pope Paul VI
* Pope John Paul I
* Pope John Paul II
* Prime Minister Keith Holyoake (New Zealand)
* Prime Minister John Ross Marshall (New Zealand)
* Prime Minister Norman Eric Kirk (New Zealand)
* Prime Minister Wallace Rowling (New Zealand)
* Prime Minister Robert Muldoon (New Zealand)
* Prime Minister James Chichester-Clark (Northern Ireland)
* Prime Minister Brian Faulkner (Northern Ireland)
* President Erskine Hamilton Childers (Ireland)
* President Cearbhall Ó Dálaigh (Ireland)
* President Patrick Hillery (Ireland)
* Taoiseach Jack Lynch (Republic of Ireland)
* Taoiseach Liam Cosgrave (Republic of Ireland)
* Taoiseach Charles Haughey (Republic of Ireland)
* Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto (Pakistan)
* Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew (Singapore)
* Leonid Brezhnev (Soviet Union)
* Queen Elizabeth II (United Kingdom)
* Prime Minister Edward Heath (United Kingdom)
* Prime Minister Harold Wilson (United Kingdom)
* Prime Minister James Callaghan (United Kingdom)
* President Richard Nixon (United States)
* President Gerald Ford (United States)
* President Jimmy Carter (United States)
* Chancellor Willy Brandt (West Germany)
* Chancellor Helmut Schmidt (West Germany)
* President Josip Broz Tito (Yugoslavia)

Sports figures

* Henry Aaron (U.S. baseball player)
* Muhammad Ali (U.S. boxer)
* Rick Barry (U.S. basketball player)
* Franz Beckenbauer (West German soccer player)
* Wilfred Benitez (Puerto Rican boxer)
* George Best (Northern Irish soccer player)
* Larry Bird (U.S. basketball player)
* Bjorn Borg (Swedish tennis player)
* Terry Bradshaw (U.S. American football player)
* Rod Carew (Panamanian baseball player)
* Nadia Comaneci (Romanian gymnast)
* Jimmy Connors (U.S. tennis player)
* Roberto Duran (Panamanian boxer)
* Gareth Edwards (Welsh rugby player)
* Julius Erving (U.S. basketball player)
* George Foreman (U.S. boxer)
* Joe Frazier (U.S. boxer)
* Wilfredo Gómez (Puerto Rican boxer)
* Bobby Hull (Canadian ice hockey player)
* Kareem Abdul Jabbar (U.S. basketball player)
* Reggie Jackson (U.S. baseball player)
* Barry John (Welsh rugby player)
* Billie Jean King (U.S. tennis player)
* Olga Korbut (Russian gymnast)
* Guy Lafleur (Canadian ice hockey player)
* Niki Lauda (Austrian racing driver)
* Clive Lloyd (Guyanan cricketer)
* Pete Maravich (U.S. basketball player)
* Willie Mays (U.S. baseball player)
* Eddie Merckx (Belgian cyclist)
* Carlos Monzon (Argentinian boxer)
* Gerd Müller (West German soccer player)
* Joe Namath (U.S. American football player)
* Jack Nicklaus (U.S. golfer)
* Jim Palmer (U.S. baseball player)
* Pelé (Brazilian soccer player)
* Richard Petty (U.S. racing driver)
* Pete Rose (U.S. baseball player)
* Secretariat (racehorse)
* Barry Sheene (English motorcycle racer)
* O.J. Simpson (U.S. American football player)
* Mark Spitz (U.S. swimmer)
* Roger Staubach (U.S. American football player)
* Bill Walton (U.S. basketball player)


* Alan Alda
* David Cassidy
* Gary Coleman
* Richard Dreyfuss
* Harrison Ford
* Redd Foxx
* Louis de Funes
* Serge Gainsbourg
* Mel Gibson
* Mark Hamill
* Ron Howard
* Jack Lemmon
* Steve Martin
* Robert De Niro
* Bob Newhart
* Jack Nicholson
* The Not Ready for Prime-Time Players
* Carroll O'Connor
* Al Pacino
* Robert Redford
* Sony
* Barbra Streisand
* John Travolta
* Mary Tyler Moore
* Johnny Whitaker
* Henry Winkler


* Aerosmith
* Allman Brothers Band
* Bachman-Turner Overdrive
* Black Sabbath
* Blue Öyster Cult
* David Bowie
* Jackson Browne
* Budgie
* Jimmy Buffett
* Carpenters
* Johnny Cash
* Cher
* Chicago
* Eric Clapton
* The Clash
* Alice Cooper
* Elvis Costello
* Crass
* The Damned
* Deep Purple
* Neil Diamond
* The Eagles
* Electric Light Orchestra
* Fleetwood Mac
* Gloria Gaynor
* Genesis
* Gary Glitter
* Grateful Dead
* Merle Haggard
* Waylon Jennings
* Billy Joel
* Elton John
* Journey
* Kiss
* DJ Kool Herc
* Led Zeppelin
* John Lennon
* Loretta Lynn
* Lynyrd Skynyrd
* Barry Manilow
* Bob Marley & the Wailers
* Steve Miller Band
* Motörhead
* Willie Nelson
* P Funk (Parliament/Funkadelic)
* Queen
* Rainbow
* Rush
* Sex Pistols
* Styx
* Donna Summer
* James Taylor
* T. Rex
* Triumph
* Van Halen
* War
* Neil Young

See also: List of rock and roll albums in the 1970s


* Chinua Achebe
* Ai
* Edward Albee
* Kingsley Amis
* Mulk Raj Anand
* J. G. Ballard
* Saul Bellow
* Anthony Burgess
* A. S. Byatt
* Amy Clampitt
* Anita Desai
* E. L. Doctrow
* Margaret Drabble
* Janet Frame
* John Gardner
* Zulfikar Ghose
* William Golding
* Thom Gunn
* Alamgir Hashmi
* Seamus Heaney
* Ted Hughes
* Philip Larkin
* Robert Lowell
* Norman Mailer
* Kamala Markandaya
* Arthur Miller
* Iris Murdoch
* R. K. Narayan
* Harold Pinter
* Thomas Pynchon
* Salman Rushdie
* Anne Sexton
* Louis Simpson
* Wole Soyinka
* William Stafford
* Anne Stevenson
* Tom Stoppard
* Mark Strand
* John Tranter
* Kurt Vonnegut
* Gore Vidal
* Alice Walker
* Judith Wright


* Woody Allen
* Peggy Ashcroft
* Alan Bates
* Ingmar Bergman
* Ingrid Bergman
* Jean-Paul Belmondo
* Humphrey Bogart
* Kenneth Branagh
* Richard Burton
* Claudia Cardinale
* Sean Connery
* Francis Ford Coppola
* Marlene Dietrich
* Greta Garbo
* Ava Gardner
* John Gielgud
* Gene Hackman
* Rex Harrison
* Audrey Hepburn
* Katharine Hepburn
* Dustin Hoffman
* William Holden
* Rock Hudson
* Diane Keaton
* David Niven
* Peter O'Toole
* Laurence Olivier
* Gregory Peck
* Anthony Quinn
* Robert Redford
* Vanessa Redgrave
* Diana Rigg
* George C. Scott
* Meryl Streep
* Elizabeth Taylor
* Liv Ullmann
* Peter Ustinov
* John Wayne
* Norman Wisdom
Franco Zeffirelli

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-Obtain a cassette tape player and insert a tape.

-Rewind tape

-Without looking advance tape to your favorite song-did you find the exact place

-Now obtain an 8track tape player

-Insert a tape

-Without looking go to your favorite song.

-Was this easier or more difficult.

-Is it easier to insert a tape into an 8track? Into a cassette tape player? or Cd into a CD player?

-How many 8 track tapes will fit into a shoe box? Cassettes? Cds?

Why do you think that the 8track tape player became obsolete?

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Restoration and Parts Assistance


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Helpful Links

History of 8 track tape system

8 Track Heaven

About the inventor

More history


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Tour of My 8 Track Tape Players


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