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K-Tel Records and Tapes

By Patrick Mondout

Between 1971 and 1985, K-Tel International blessed us with inexpensive records filled to the brim with the best music they could license. Well, that's one way to put it. The K-Tel albums I bought in the mid-to-late Super70s featured an unhealthy dose of K.C. and the Sunshine Band, Gloria Gaynor, and -- for reasons unknown to the author -- Disco Tex and the Sex-O-Lettes! With such titles as Southern Fried Rock, Disco Rocket, and 24 Greatest Dumb Ditties, K-Tel seemed to dominate the compilation album market. Whatever can be said about the quality of their selections, cover art, or even the vinyl they recorded on, K-Tel has remarkable name-recognition among those of us who grew up in the Super70s.

Where are they now?

As Seen on TV!
Check the bottom of this page for K-Tel albums for sale!

By 1998, K-Tel had reinvented itself into a dotcom, but was heavily in debt and in danger of being delisted by NASDaq due to a lack of net tangible assets. In fact, they reported a loss of $600,000 in the 3rd quarter of 1998 - and that was just in their e-commerce group. Not everyone at K-Tel was singing the blues though. Chairman Philip Kives managed to sell over $37 million worth of K-Tel stock between May 11 and June 9 of 1998 at prices ranging from $11 to $32. As Kenny Rogers once sang, "You gotta know when to hold 'em; know when to fold them..."

 

Share Your Memories!

Is K-Tel Records and Tapes one of your favorite albums? What interesting or amusing stories can you tell? Wanna write a review? Share your stories (or your reviews) with the world! (We print the best stories right here!)

Your Memories Shared!

"We used to love listening to our 8 track of Nutty Numbers. My sister and I were kids but we loved the songs; they always made us laugh! I've tried over the years to find the 8 track or even a listing of the songs, hoping that this very website might be a lead. I loved Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport (take me cockatoo too sport. . . LOL!) And there was a song about General Custer to, who I always thought must be related to Colonel Mustard since their names rhymed. Please email me at redheadbarbie@livejournal. com if you have this album, or a track list!"

--redheadbarbie

"K-tel is almost like family to me. My first exposure to top 40 music was in the early Super70s around 1972 to 1975. I was 10 to 13 years old and one of the first albums I ever owned was k-tel's FANTASTIC from 1973. At the time the main reason why I wanted the record was because it had Little Willy by the Sweet on it. I also discovered Elton John, The Raspberries and Rod Stewart also. When I entered the 7th grade I started getting into rock/pop music alot more. and with K-tels DYNAMITE from 1974 and 1975's OUT OF SIGHT I became a diehard collector. With 20 songs by the original artists how could one resist. I collected faithfully through out the rest of the Super70s. These past few years I have reconnected with the k-tel fever and have amassed a large collection almost 100 and counting through ebay and various vinyl record businesses."

--Anonymous

Where to Find K-Tel Records Today

Sadly, K-Tel is not in the habit of re-releasing old compilations. If you are looking for such albums, eBay is your best bet. In fact, here's an up-to-the-minute listing of K-Tel items up for auction right now at eBay:


 

MUSICAL NOTES

Our favorite: Disco Nights


K-tel memorabilia!
K-tel Singles & Albums!

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