MeTV FM Presents the First K-TEL and Ronco Weekend

Beginning at 7:00 p.m. on Fri., September 20, and running through midnight on Sun., September 22, MeTV FM presents its first-ever "K-Tel and Ronco Weekend," a salute to the eclectic music collections issued by these record compilation companies in the ‘70s and early ‘80s.

Long before Time Life Music and Now That's What I Call Music, the collections issued by K-Tel and Ronco on vinyl represented the easiest way for pop music enthusiasts to add a boatload of new songs to their collection at an affordable price. From the middle 1960s through the early 1980s, K-Tel and Ronco released one to two albums every year. Each record featured 20-24 songs with a list price of $2.99 to $4.99 for the album. To the budget-conscious music fan, this represented a significant cost savings over purchasing each song individually as a 45-rpm single.

The albums came with colorful titles such as Explosive Hits, Super Bad, Music Power and Disco Rocket. They were adorned with eye-catching psychedelic cover art. The selection of songs on each album was frequently a genre-blurring mix of chart-toppers, semi-hits and obscure fillers. The release of each new collection was supported by a TV ad campaign where a hyperkinetic announcer would scream out the name of the album's most prominent artists while touting its "Original Hits" and "Original Stars."

Buyers of the collections learned very quickly how it was possible to fit a couple dozen songs onto a single album. When they got home and played the record, they discovered that each song had been edited, in some cases severely truncated. Still, the K-Tel and Ronco albums proved to be quite popular, with total sales exceeding $150 million dollars in 34 countries during the late ‘70s.

Unlike the experience of playing an actual K-Tel or Ronco album, however, MeTV FM listeners can expect to hear the unedited 45 rpm or album versions of songs that could be found on the companies' most popular collections during the upcoming "K-Tel and Ronco Weekend."


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