View Full Version : American Airlines ASTROVISION tapes
08-15-2009, 06:19 PM
These tapes were included with a deck that was given to me years ago.
Anybody have any info on them?
I assume these aren't collector's items because they're homemade copies, or could these be the actual tapes that were used?
OCR of first tape, side 1
American Airlines ASTROVISION Program Number 11 Side #1
Remember Me, lTm The One Who Loves You - Dean Martin
Autumn Leaves - Keely Smith
Hello Young Lovers - Frank Sinatra
HeTt Got The Whole World In His Hands - The King Family
Aqua De Beber - Antonio Carlos Jobim
Take The Moment - Sammy Davis
Do Re Mi - Dinah Shore
You Don't Know Me - Vic Damone
Ballerina - Nelson Riddle Orchestra
Watermelon Man - Trini Lopez
September Song - Frank Sinatra
That Old Black Magic - Keely Smith
Someday - Vic Damone
Rhapsody In Blue - Duke Ellington Orchestra
You'll Never Walk Alone - Alyce King
Helo Dolly - Sammy Davis
Nature Boy - Nelson Riddle Orchestra
Lemon Tree - Sandie Shaw
How Old Am I - Frank Sinatra
C. C. Rider - The Everly Brothers
Bluebird of Happiness - Narration: Bob Clarke
Basin Street Blues - Dinah Shore
Your Cheatin' Heart - Buddy Ebsen
Sentimental Journey - Duke Ellington Orchestra
Last Night When We Were tfoung - Frank Sinatra
Walkin' My Baby Back P J - Nelson Riddle Orchestra
People - Sammy David
Dindi - Antonio Carlos Jobim
King of The Road - Dean Martin
Cry Me A River - Dinah Shore
This 7s All I Ask - Frank Sinatra
The Birth of The Blues - Keely Smith
08-15-2009, 06:30 PM
Hello,back in the 1980's I worked for eastern airlines. at the terminal building there was a tape deck that would be used for the overhead music.Sounds like you found another version.If you should ever transfer it to cd I would love to have a copy. Tom jfk line mechanic.
08-15-2009, 09:17 PM
Oh... my... GOD.
08-15-2009, 10:49 PM
I've got a huge stack of those reels too. They're all on Ampex 641 (the old red and white box) and they say American Airlines Mood Music on them. Some have MUZAK sounding stuff on them, some have classical, pop, etc. and they are all recorded at 3 3/4 ips. I kind of assumed that they were background music for the airport terminal.
I remember seeing the commercial grade auto-reverse playback only machines that those tapes would be played on in some stores behind the customer service counters. The one that stands out in my memory the most was a big reddish-orange machine with the DuKane label on it behind the counter at our local K-Mart store in the very early 70's - kind of impressive looking. I remember watching it one day while my mom was returning something at the customer service counter, and when the tape ended and it kicked into reverse I was floored. That was the first auto-reverse machine I'd ever seen in action, and I couldn't believe that there was a machine that flipped the tape over for you!
08-16-2009, 01:51 AM
Naw, that tape has to be one of the ones that passengers listen to through those little headsets during flights. They must have one huge R2R deck for each channel, down in the fuselage somewhere. Ever wonder why there are no flight attendants around, just when you need one? The reason is that they are down below, rewinding tapes! All those heavy decks are why the planes need so much fuel, and why your ticket was so expensive. Studers aren't cheap. What a shame that those decks get shredded when the planes are scrapped!
Okay, I made that all up and it's ridiculous. Sue me. :D
Airport "musak" sounds a lot more plausible! :yes:
You might be able to sell a copy of that to any film-maker (film sound man) looking for realism in an airport scene!
08-16-2009, 01:57 AM
Here is some info on your tape.
08-16-2009, 03:06 AM
Astrovision was American Airlines' in-flight music system in their 1960's-era Astrojet fleet. Each passenger had a choice of two music channels with three-hour programs and the system also included video playback of in-flight movies, all using open-reel tape. Tapes were used for one month at a time, then were sold to the public, so there are quite a few of these floating around with pretty attractive labels and boxes.
08-16-2009, 10:41 AM
What's frightening is that I have at least one set of those acoustic headphones in a box, somewhere.
08-16-2009, 10:55 PM
I have 5 or 6 American Airline tapes that I bought an the Exchange in Yokosuka in the 60's. Also have 5 1st generation copies that made from friends. Most guys had R-R's and since we could not understand the TV programs, we made tapes.
08-20-2009, 09:40 PM
Thanx for the info. Too bad they aren't commercial copies.
08-20-2009, 09:43 PM
You can find the factory tapes on ebay every now and then. I even saw a couple sealed once... many don't sell, others go for pretty cheap.
08-20-2009, 09:55 PM
I remember seeing the commercial grade auto-reverse playback only machines that those tapes would be played on in some stores behind the customer service counters. The one that stands out in my memory the most was a big reddish-orange machine with the DuKane label on it behind the counter at our local K-Mart store in the very early 70's - kind of impressive looking. I remember watching it one day while my mom was returning something at the customer service counter, and when the tape ended and it kicked into reverse I was floored.
Dude Totally! Our K-mart had the exact same machine! And the first time I noticed it was when.... My mom was returning something at the customer service desk! I didn't see the auto reverse function kick in though :( I think I was addicted to reel players at the very moment.. an epiphany as it were of sorts...
08-20-2009, 10:00 PM
Looks like these were used on the old Boeing 707s and Douglas DC-8s. Those were the astrojets.
08-21-2009, 09:09 AM
These are factory pre-recorded tapes. Duplicated at 4X speed, playback speed 3 3/4 IPS. Duplicated in Elk Grove Village, Illinois by Ampex Stereo Tapes for American Airlines. Generally better than average quality for the speed. After one month's use, American Airlines sold these tapes to the public. Overruns were also sold by Ampex to the public. They are from masters as a rule. These were indeed duplicated on Ampex 641 tape, which has aged very well.
Astro Vision you say...