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Did You Ever Record Songs Off the Radio?

Recently I asked you if you used to listen to Casey Kasem's radio shows and several commenters reminded me of a bygone practice in which I, too, took part: recording songs off the radio. Back in the cassette tape's heyday, I would try to obtain my favorite songs on the radio by pressing the "Record" button on my radio/cassette player as close to the beginning of the song as possible. Timing was everything with this, since you didn't want all the DJ chatter on the tape, and having clean transitions from recorded song to recorded song was the ultimate goal. Thank goodness iTunes eventually came along. Recording songs off the radio now seems frustrating and ridiculous!

I know many of you still own cassette players — are these the same ones that you used to record songs off the radio, perhaps? Or did you never do this back in the day?


Join The Conversation
leslievanhouten leslievanhouten 7 years
I definitely did this! I also taped music videos off MTV, especially Sunday nights when I'd stay up for 120 Minutes
kmckay kmckay 7 years
too funny! kids today have NO idea what a mixed tape is... it took so much work to create one and you out so much time & energy into it!!! now you can create a mix cd in minutes :)
KAEB06 KAEB06 7 years
I did that all the time!
kscincotta kscincotta 7 years
I totally did this and managed to hold onto one particularly great mix from the mid-90s all these years. A few years back, a friend of mine found it and converted it to cd for me. You can still hear the radio Top 10 count down voices on the cd!
Marci Marci 7 years
I definitely did this. And as said by other posters, it was all about the timing. I took great pride in my timing skills and my mixes were in demand! Ha ha!
LaLaLaurie06 LaLaLaurie06 7 years
When Princess Diana died, I became OBSESSED with trying to record "Candle in the Wind" and the one song with news and radio clips (I think it was an Enya song?) off of the radio using my cassette player.
tellmemorex2 tellmemorex2 7 years
Omgosh I used to do this when I was younger too! Wow, thank goodness for iTunes.
smileyface smileyface 7 years
I used to do this ALL the time! Back when all we had were cassette players I would always make a mix of songs off of the radio! I was a little bummed when CDs came out I got a CD player and couldn't record songs off of the radio onto CDs.
new new 7 years
haha sholmes I did that too! I recorded songs all the time. I remember hearing the dj say that a new Silverchair song (anthem for the year 2000) would be played for the first time ever in Holland on that station the next day. so I waited for hours before it finally came on. I played that song over and over again haha.
Sarana Sarana 7 years
I did this all the time, I still have the tapes somewhere I think! Also from listening to the tapes so much you began to know the order on the tape by heart.
luv2blazy luv2blazy 7 years
This is so funny. A friend and I were talking about this yesterday. At the beginning of every song I would sit next to the radio with my finger on record waiting for the next song to start. Thank you Mighty 690 AM.
cg130 cg130 7 years
Hahhaa, that's so funny! I'm too young to have ever done that...but it sounds fun!
qtpie qtpie 7 years
omg i totally did this haha! it was so frustrating getting the timing right, the dj would always talk over the beginning.
Frenched Frenched 7 years
HAHA. Yeah, I totally did this. Timing was EVERYTHING, for sure...but sometimes I wouldn't get the song totally right and the beginning would get cut off a bit. I would get so used to hearing the song that way that when I actually heard the full song it would seem weird to me! Funny how times change...
Allyace Allyace 7 years
Oh yes. I definitely remember doing this. Making iTunes playlists is so much easier but not as fun. haha
sholmes84 sholmes84 7 years
I used to write the lyrics down so I could sing along once I recorded them...such a nerd
Anadi Anadi 7 years
It was more of my sister's thing, but sometimes she'd put me on record duty (basically waiting with my finger on the button). I always got the timing wrong.
Phil Phil 7 years
Yes! Thinking back to those days, it was kind of fun making them. I prided myself in making radio mix tapes that were much better than the NOW compilations advertised on TV. I think I might even still have them in a box somewhere. And then MP3s came into existence, and far less obsession was needed to be invested in pirating music. Good times.
Gdeeaz Gdeeaz 7 years
yes i did
DeppObsession DeppObsession 7 years
LOL hahah I totally did this when I was younger.. wow
girlgreen girlgreen 7 years
ahh!! popped in my head! YIKES
girlgreen girlgreen 7 years
Yes! I did this all the time in middle school. I put it on my favorite station, Mix 104.1, and my friend and I would call the DJ every day and request songs. I wish I could find one of those old tapes! I remember taping OMC's "How Bizarre" and Lauryn Hill's "That Thing." Those two just pooped in my head.
Edie-J-Blige Edie-J-Blige 7 years
Omg I used to keep a tape in the cassette deck and my radio on high and then when I heard a song I liked I would run from wherever I was in the house and press record. Those were the good old days :)
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