Rock N’ Roll Collectors Edition – Greatest Hits of the 50’s & 60’s Volume 4

Rock N’ Roll Collectors Edition – Greatest Hits of the 50’s & 60’s Volume 4

I have a lot of cassettes of this sort, and for a while I actively sought them out as much as possible. They are of interest to me because I often know the songs when I hear them, but not by title or artist. They are somewhat less interesting than original releases, but they are an important part of the compact cassette format for me.

Volume 4 of this collection is the lowest numbered one I presently possess. I picked them up in a suitcase like cassette caring case from a local thrift store. It has a copyright date of 1987, which belongs to Metacom, Inc., based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The inside has a perforated, removable card you can send away to Adventures in Cassettes, also based in Minneapolis, for a free catelogue. This is a Type I cassette with no Dolby noise reduction.

Compact cassette insert and side A of Rock N' Roll Collectors Edition - Greatest Hits of the 50's & 60's Volume 4
Rock N’ Roll Collectors Edition – Greatest Hits of the 50’s & 60’s Volume 4

Side A
The Platters – Smoke Gets in Your Eyes
The Monkees – Last Train to Clarksville
Diana Ross & The Supremes – Someday We’ll be Together
Smokey Robinson & The Miriacles – I Second That Emotion

Side B
Buddy Holly & The Crickets – That’ll be the Day
The Juniors – At the Hop
The Shangri-Las – Leader of the Pack

I am happy to have a copy of these songs. It is perhaps an obvious selection, but I was born the year this cassette was released, so it does not feel so on the nose to me. This is just a simple collection of oldies hits in very plain packaging, and is therefore not enormously interesting. What I think is interesting, and what I really want to talk about, is Adventures in Cassettes, the store that sold this cassette collection.

They were based in Minnesota, seemed to do mail order business, which is likely how they ended up physically here where I found them. They also had a webpage, long dead, but archived ( On its own, this is fascinating. The first paragraph echos my feelings on cassettes, and why I am doing this as a whole.

The master catelogue towards the bottom of the page is the goldmine for me. Adventures in Cassettes master catelogue is largely old radio programming. For example, the Academy Award Collection:

This exclusive show required the highest standards in its programming: either the stars or the movie on which it was based must have won or been nominated for an Academy Award. Opening March 30,1946, these dramatized stories of the movies specialized in top talent, original musical scores and superior sound effects. Sadly, the high production costs which made Academy Award so popular, also effectively caused its demise after only nine months.

6-Tape Academy Award Collection Includes:

The Informer (Victor McLaglen) – 5/25/46
Arise, My Love (Ray Milland) – 6/1/46
The Front Page (Pat O’Brien) – 6/22/46
A Star Is Born (Edward March & Janet Gaynor) – 6/29/46
The Maltese Falcon (Humphrey Bogart & Mary Astor) – 7/3/46
The Prisoner Of Zenda (Douglas Fairbanks) – 7/17/46
Foreign Correspondent (Joseph Cotten) – 7/24/46
Hold Back The Dawn ( Olivia DeHavilland) – 7/31/46
Vivacious Lady (Lana Turner) – 8/14/46
One Sunday Afternoon (Jimmy Stewart) – 8/28/46
The Devil & Miss Jones (Charles Coburn & Virginia Mayo) – 10/23/46
Suspicion (Cary Grant) – 10/30/46
AB072 Academy Award (6 Cassettes – 6 Hours) …$25.98

Radio programming outside of what the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation produced in the 90s is largely unknown to me. Discovering that this material exists at all, much less that it was collected on cassette, gives me much joy.

Other collections I find interesting listed on the Wayback Machine version of their site:

In March, 2000, Adventures in Cassettes started redirecting to Radio Spirits, a site which still exists and seems to sell the same sort of classic radio material. I find it somewhat encouraging that there is still a market for that media, even though the format has moved on. I hope some day I can enjoy something else from their catelogue, I will surely be on the look out for it.

I’m not going to do in depth write ups about anything else in this collection, they are all just cassettes full of hit songs without any further context. Over the coming days I will do track lists on the off chance anyone but myself cares about that sort of thing.

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