Category Archives: K-TEL Record Commercials

K-Tel Record Commercials from the 1970s and 1980s

I stumbled across these gems on YouTube and wanted to share with my fellow RadioGeeks. Anyone who grew up in the 1970s and early 1980s remembers K-Tel Records. Who could resist the temptation of 18, 20, 22 or more hit songs by the original artists, all on one record or tape? Nevermind the songs were edited down and/or faded out early. Or that the music was pressed into microgrooves, resulting in lower volume, inferior audio quality, and a severe tendency for the needle to “skip.” No, this was pure pop music bliss. If you were a young kid like me who only had allowance money to spend on records, K-Tel was your ticket to having the hits on your record player!

K-Tel record commercials were an art form all by themselves. The musical montages, the cheesy graphics, and the over-the-top announcer shouting “GET MUSIC POWER FROM K-TEL! $4.99 FOR RECK-KORD, 8-TRACK TAPE, FIVE NINETY-NINE.” K-Tel commercials aired on both TV and radio. The radio versions were created by simply taking the audio track from the corresponding television commercial. On both the TV and radio versions, there were a few seconds at the end of the spot for the local announcer tag. On radio, the DJ would say “Get Music Power from K-Tel at K-Mart, Shopko, Woolworths, and at all Snyder Drug Stores.” On TV, the store logos would be superimposed over the video at the end of the commercial. Sometimes, it would be accompanied by the local announcer voiceover. In other cases, the music would just fade out as the store logos and lettering appeared on the screen.

Here they are, in chronological order. Where possible, I have included the list of songs included on the U.S. release of the album. And yes, I will admit, I bought nearly all of these albums and still own them today! Keep checking back. I will be adding to this collection as time allows:

“22 EXPLOSIVE HITS” – K-TEL TU 224 – Released in 1972 – Available on LP record only, priced at $3.99.

Side One:
1. The Candy Man – Sammy Davis Jr.
2. Nice To Be With You – Gallery
3. A Simple Man – Lobo
4. If Not For You – Olivia Newton-John
5. One Bad Apple – Osmonds
6. Rainy Day Feeling – Fortunes
7. Mammy Blue – Pop Tops
8. Don’t Pull Your Love – Hamilton, Joe Frank & Reynolds
9. Chick-A-Boom – Daddy Dewdrops
10. You Could Have Been A Lady – April Wine
11. Popcorn – Hot Butter

Side Two:
1. Layla – Derek & The Dominos
2. Small Beginnings – Flash
3. Son Of My Father – Giorgio
4. Butterfly – Danyel Butterfly
5. You Are The One – Sugar Bears
6. Wedding Song – James Last
7. Baby Let Me Take You – Detroit Emeralds
8. Power To The People – Chi-Lites
9. My Man, A Sweet Man – Millie Jackson
10. Honky Tonk Pt. 1 – James Brown
11. Power Of Love – Joe Simon

“BELIEVE IN MUSIC” – K-TEL TU 227 – Released in 1972 – Now available on 8-track tape cartridge for $5.99. Price of the LP record remains at $3.99.

Side One:
1. Brandy (You’re A Fine Girl) – Looking Glass
2. Beautiful Sunday – Daniel Boone
3. Sunny Days – Lighthouse
4. How Do You Do? – Mouth & MacNeil
5. Long Cool Woman – Hollies
6. Go Away Little Girl – Donny Osmond
7. Back Stabbers – O’Jays
8. Go All The Way – Raspberries
9. Fly Pretty Baby – Andy & David Williams
10. Maggie May – Rod Stewart
11. Sealed With A Kiss – Bobby Vinton

Side Two:
1. Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves – Cher
2. Sylvia’s Mother – Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show
3. Sweet & Innocent – Donny Osmond
4. Hold Your Head Up – Argent
5. Let It Rain – Eric Clapton
6. Let Your Yeah Be Yeah – Brownsville Station
7. No – Bulldog
8. Money Back Guarantee – Five Man Electrical Band
9. Speak To The Sky – Rick Springfield
10. Down By The River – Albert Hammond
11. I Believe In Music – Gallery

“BRIGHT SIDE OF MUSIC” – K-TEL TU 330 – Released in 1973

Side One:
1. Oh Babe What Would You Say – Hurricane Smith
2. I Wanna Be With You – Raspberries
3. Big City Miss Ruth Ann – Gallery
4. Motorcycle Mama – Sailcat
5. Loving You Just Crossed My Mind – Sam Neely
6. Why Can’t We Live Together – Timmy Thomas
7. Bell Bottom Blues – Eric Clapton
8. Don’t Expect Me To Be Your Friend – Lobo
9. Wildflower – Skylark
10. Puppy Love – Donny Osmond
11. Pinball Wizard / See Me Feel Me – New Seekers

Side Two:
1. Daisy A Day – Jud Stunk
2. Let’s Pretend – Raspberries
3. Love Jones – Brighter Side of Darkness
4. Something’s Wrong With Me – Austin Roberts
5. What Am I Crying For – Dennis Yost & the Classics IV
6. It’s Lonely Out There – The Sweet
7. Daddy Don’t You Walk So Fast – Wayne Newton
8. Boogie Woogie Man – Paul Davis
9. Step By Step – Joe Simon
10. I Got Ants In My Pants (And I Want to Dance) Part I – James Brown
11. Down By The Lazy River – Osmonds

“FANTASTIC” – K-TEL TU 233 – Released in 4th Quarter, 1973 – As the 1970s inflation began to kick in, the price of the LP record was raised $1 to $4.99. 8-track tape remained at $5.99. This video is for the CANADIAN version of Fantastic. However, the tracks listing is for the U.S. version. K-Tel released different versions of each album in the U.S. and Canada. Also, cassette versions of K-Tel albums were not available in the U.S. until 1977’s Music Machine.

Side One:
1. Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree – Dawn (featuring Tony Orlando)
2. Crocodile Rock – Elton John
3. Hocus Pocus – Focus
4. Little Willy – The Sweet
5. Lean On Me – Bill Withers
6. I Wanna Be With You – Raspberries
7. The Free Electric Band – Albert Hammond
8. Misdmeanor – Foster Sylvers
9. L.A. Freeway – Jerry Jeff Walker
10. I’m Doin’ Fine Now – New York City
11. I’m Gonna Love You Just A Little More Baby – Barry White

Side Two:
1. The Morning After – Maureen McGovern
2. Twisting The Night Away – Rod Stewart
3. The Night The Lights Went Out in Georgia – Vicki Lawrence
4. The Twelfth Of Never – Donny Osmond
5. Armed & Extremely Dangerous – First Choice
6. It Sure Took A Long Time – Lobo
7. Randy – Blue Mink
8. Back When My Hair Was Short – Gunhill Road
9. Rock ‘N Roll Part II – Garry Glitter
10. Power to All Our Friends – Cliff Richard
11. Rocket Man – Elton John

“MUSIC POWER” – K-TEL TU 234 – Released in 1st Quarter, 1974

Side One:
1. Smokin’ In The Boys’ Room – Brownsville Station
2. Spiders & Snakes – Jim Stafford
3. Rockin’ Roll Baby – Stylistics
4. Painted Ladies – Ian Thomas
5. Pillow Talk – Sylvia
6. It Hurts So Good – Millie Jackson
7. Mammy Blue – Stories
8. Pretty Lady – Lighthouse
9. Where Peaceful Waters Flow – Gladys Knight & the Pips
10. When You Say Love – Sonny & Cher
11. The Americans (A Canadian’s Opinion) – Gordon Sinclair

Side Two:
1. Say, Has Anybody Seen My Sweet Gypsy Rose – Dawn (featuring Tony Orlando)
2. Keeper Of The Castle – Four Tops
3. Two Divided By Love – Grass Roots
4. By the Devil I Was Tempted – Blue Mink
5. Oh Girl – Chi-Lites
6. Can This Be Real – Natural Four
7. Tonight – Raspberries
8. Little Willy – The Sweet
9. River – Joe Simon
10. Drift Away – Dobie Gray
11. I’ve Got So Much To Give – Barry White

“DYNAMITE” – K-TEL TU – Released 4th Quarter, 1974 – Inflation rears it’s ugly head again. The price of both the LP and tape is raised another dollar. LP is now $5.99, 8-track tape is $6.99. Also, the number of songs has been reduced from 22 to 20, reflecting the trend towards longer hit singles during the mid-1970s.

Side One:
1. The Night Chicago Died – Paper Lace
2. Takin’ Care Of Business – Bachman-Turner Overdrive
3. This Flight Tonight – Nazareth
4. Be Thankful For What You’ve Got – William DeVaughan
5. I Shot The Sheriff – Eric Clapton
6. Hollywood Swinging – Kool & The Gang
7. Stuck In The Middle With You – Stealers Wheel
8. I’m A Train – Albert Hammond
9. Rock Your Baby – George McCrae
10. Honky Cat – Elton John

Side Two:
1. Seasons In The Sun – Terry Jacks
2. Rock & Roll Hoochie Koo – Rick Derringer
3. Meet Me On The Corner Down At Joe’s Cafe – Peter Noone
4. Save The Last Dance For Me – DeFranco Family Featuring Tony DeFranco
5. Rings – Lobo
6. The Lord’s Prayer – Sister Janet Mead
7. Love’s Theme – Love Unlimited Orchestra
8. Show & Tell – Al Wilson
9. On & On – Gladys Knight & the Pips
10. Let’s Put It All Together – Stylistics

“OUT OF SIGHT” – K-TEL TU – Released 1st Quarter, 1975 – The LP price hike does not hold and is reduced to the previous $4.99. 8-track tape remains at $6.99.

Side One:
1. Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting – Elton John
2. I’ve Got The Music In Me – The Kiki Dee Band
3. Life Is A Rock (But the Radio Rolled Me) – Reunion
4. Beach Baby – First Class
5. The Black-Eyed Boys – Paper Lace
6. Touch Me – Fancy
7. Higher Plane – Kool & The Gang
8. You Little Trustmaker – The Tymes
9. I Feel A Song (In My Heart) – Gladys Knight & The Pips
10. Kung Fu Fighting – Carl Douglas

Side Two:
1. You Ain’t Seen Nothin Yet – Bachman-Turner Overdrive
2. Get Dancin’ – Disco Tex & The Sex-O-Lettes
3. Star – Stealers Wheel
4. After The Goldrush – Prelude
5. So You Are A Star – Hudson Brothers
6. Heavy Fallin’ Out – The Stylistics
7. The Need To Be – Jim Weatherly
8. Abra-Ca-Dabra – DeFranco Family (Featuring Tony DeFranco)
9. Kings Of The Party – Brownsville Station
10. Rock The Boat – The Hues Corporation

“SOUNDS SPECTACULAR” – K-TEL TU – Released 2nd Quarter, 1975

Side One:
1. Never Can Say Goodbye – Gloria Gaynor
2. Free Ride – Edgar Winter Group
3. Fire – Ohio Players
4. Roll On Down The Highway – Bachman-Turner Overdrive
5. Radar Love – Golden Earring
6. Come And Get Your Love – Redbone
7. Up In A Puff Of Smoke – Polly Brown
8. Butter Boy – Fanny
9. Sugar Baby Love – Rubettes
10. Do It (‘Til You’re Satisfied) – B.T. Express

Side Two:
1. My Eyes Adored You – Frankie Valli
2. Shame, Shame, Shame – Shirley & Company
3. Get Dancin’ – Disco Tex & The Sex-O-Lettes
4. Nothing From Nothing – Billy Preston
5. Doraville – Atlanta Rhythm Section
6. The South’s Gonna Do It Again – Charlie Daniels Band
7. It’s Impossible – New Birth
8. Be Thankful For What You’ve Got – William DeVaughn
9. Just Don’t Want To Be Lonely – Main Ingredient
10. My Maria – B.W. Stevenson

TO BE CONTINUED…