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The USTI Q8 catalog - Casey Q8s? Who is Casey?

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ArmyOfQuad

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So this 8-track showed up in my ebay searching a few months back. Which had me curious enough to pull the trigger and find out what it is. Sure enough, it's quad, and it's covers of popular songs, no real surprises there. But, still a bit of a mystery tape. No record label information, no information about the performer, just a single name. As you can see, they do credit the producer and mixer, and even photographer. But that didn't point me in the direction of more information about this tape. Seems like some cheap knock-off cover album.....but with a quad mix?

Further searching turns up a 2nd Casey album

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Which looks like more of the same....more covers. But with the asking price for this one being $80, I'm not pulling the trigger on this one.

Even more interesting, they have catalog numbers of Q105 and Q109. Does that mean whatever outfit put these out, may have put out at least another 7 titles?


Anyways....anyone know anything about these tapes?
 
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Simon A

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Vocal or instrumental?

The only name that pops to mind is Howie Casey who played on a few Paul McCartney tracks in the 70's. I believe they'd met during The Beatles' Hamburg years.

Nice score, by the way
 

steelydave

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These tapes were manufactured and distributed by an independent tape manufacturer called 'US Tape Industries' (or USTI). The tapes sold for a list price of something like $3.50 (which was nearly half the price of what major label tapes were) maybe they were targeting that valuable demographic who buy their art based on price rather than quality, like the people who go to "Starving Artists" sales.

You can find them all (I think there might be a dozen in total) in Mark Anderson's quad discography by searching for the 'USTI' prefix. No idea who "Casey" is - in fact it probably isn't anyone, I suspect that given the generic names of the artists on the other USTI tapes (Hyde Park Ensemble, Rio Grande Brass, Harbour Brass, Aspen Singers, etc) they're probably all from the same couple of groups of studio musicians or orchestras for hire.

usti.jpg
 

steelydave

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Here's a little news blurb from the October 7, 1972 issue of Billboard that seems to confirm that Edison Youngblood mixed these tapes at Bell Sound in New York.

usti2.jpg
 

J. PUPSTER

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These tapes were manufactured and distributed by an independent tape manufacturer called 'US Tape Industries' (or USTI). The tapes sold for a list price of something like $3.50 (which was nearly half the price of what major label tapes were) maybe they were targeting that valuable demographic who buy their art based on price rather than quality, like the people who go to "Starving Artists" sales.

You can find them all (I think there might be a dozen in total) in Mark Anderson's quad discography by searching for the 'USTI' prefix. No idea who "Casey" is - in fact it probably isn't anyone, I suspect that given the generic names of the artists on the other USTI tapes (Hyde Park Ensemble, Rio Grande Brass, Harbour Brass, Aspen Singers, etc) they're probably all from the same couple of groups of studio musicians or orchestras for hire.

View attachment 46332
So do you think the lack of credit or label information is due to trying to skirt royalty payments (although it does show company info with phone # on the ad) it doesn't seem to bode well for any extended marketing exposure, unless the info was on a paper slip cover?
 

steelydave

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No, I think these were legit tapes - Sikora worked for Cameo/Parkway in the 60s and I don't think they'd be mixing stuff at a big studio like Bell Sound and advertising in Billboard if they were producing pirate recordings. Most Q8s don't have songwriting credits so that's not out of the ordinary - I think the lack of label information was probably to be just deliberately vague enough to sell a few tapes to people who weren't clued-in enough to recognise the difference between the original recordings and something like this. Sorta like how nowadays when you go to the dollar store they have those budget DVDs of movies you've never heard of with cover art that's designed to look a lot like some other, more famous movie - one I remember in particular was for a Dennis Hopper movie called "Space Truckers" (I hope it's entirely based on the Deep Purple song!) with cover art designed to mimic the much more successful (at the time) Starship Troopers.

I think these USTI tapes are along the lines of the Alshire 101 Strings Q8/QR tapes - budget productions sold in places that wouldn't otherwise sell tapes (gas stations, convenience stores, etc.) and targeted at the un-discerning customer.
 

ArmyOfQuad

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Brilliant...should have thought to take the search to that page. Looks like we know of 12 titles.

Q101 - Rio Grande Brass - Great Western Themes
Q102 - Hyde Park Ensemble - Swinging London
Q103 - San Francisco Strings - Award Winning Movie Themes
Q104 - Aspen Singers - Beatles Songbook
Q105 - Casey - Crystal
Q106 - Harbour Voices - Sing Simon & Garfunkel
Q107 - San Francisco Strings - Symphony for Lovers
Q108 - Royal Orchestra - European Suite
Q109 - Casey - Lights
Q110 - Harbour Brass - Soul Symphony
Q111 - Royal Orchestra - Tales from the Vienna Woods
Q112 - Harbour Voices - Bacharach

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J. PUPSTER

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No, I think these were legit tapes - Sikora worked for Cameo/Parkway in the 60s and I don't think they'd be mixing stuff at a big studio like Bell Sound and advertising in Billboard if they were producing pirate recordings. Most Q8s don't have songwriting credits so that's not out of the ordinary - I think the lack of label information was probably to be just deliberately vague enough to sell a few tapes to people who weren't clued-in enough to recognise the difference between the original recordings and something like this. Sorta like how nowadays when you go to the dollar store they have those budget DVDs of movies you've never heard of with cover art that's designed to look a lot like some other, more famous movie - one I remember in particular was for a Dennis Hopper movie called "Space Truckers" (I hope it's entirely based on the Deep Purple song!) with cover art designed to mimic the much more successful (at the time) Starship Troopers.

I think these USTI tapes are along the lines of the Alshire 101 Strings Q8/QR tapes - budget productions sold in places that wouldn't otherwise sell tapes (gas stations, convenience stores, etc.) and targeted at the un-discerning customer.
Budget and un-discerning customer followed by anything Quad just seems like a non sequitur to me; but I get what you're saying.

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J. PUPSTER

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Brilliant...should have thought to take the search to that page. Looks like we know of 12 titles.

Q101 - Rio Grande Brass - Great Western Themes
Q102 - Hyde Park Ensemble - Swinging London
Q103 - San Francisco Strings - Award Winning Movie Themes
Q104 - Aspen Singers - Beatles Songbook
Q105 - Casey - Crystal
Q106 - Harbour Voices - Sing Simon & Garfunkel
Q107 - San Francisco Strings - Symphony for Lovers
Q108 - Royal Orchestra - European Suite
Q109 - Casey - Lights
Q110 - Harbour Brass - Soul Symphony
Q111 - Royal Orchestra - Tales from the Vienna Woods
Q112 - Harbour Voices - Bacharach

View attachment 46339
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View attachment 46341
View attachment 46342
Right 🧐 - back to the top - who is this "Casey" guy?
 

jimfisheye

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Wild!
The history here is interesting all in itself. Of course I can just imagine the cringe with the facsimile 'made for gas stations' thing going on here. And that makes me all the more curious just what in the heck the quad mix sounds like! What does a quad mix from a label trying to be cheap and cheesy sound like? This is the non sequitur of non sequiturs!
 

winopener

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That's a similar situation with the Swiss-based Senn-Sound label, they put out a small boatload of quad tapes: first known is
Sounds like Santo & Johnny. Senn-Sound Q8 4000

last known is

Don Barry, Sax with love 4. Senn-Sound Q8 4064

and the numbering scheme was q8-only related. Nearly all the catalog of Senn-Sound releases are cheap knockoff cover versions of the current hits, related to Germany France and Italy since Swiss has all three languages and follow the three national charts, done more or less badly, depending by the moment. The only exception i know of a true discrete and good quad cart is

JAN LANGOSZ ORCHESTRA & MANDOLINS - Forever With Napoli. Senn-Sound Q8-4021

But maybe the music of that cart isn't for everyone...
 

Philip Spinner

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Brilliant...should have thought to take the search to that page. Looks like we know of 12 titles.

Q101 - Rio Grande Brass - Great Western Themes
Q102 - Hyde Park Ensemble - Swinging London
Q103 - San Francisco Strings - Award Winning Movie Themes
Q104 - Aspen Singers - Beatles Songbook
Q105 - Casey - Crystal
Q106 - Harbour Voices - Sing Simon & Garfunkel
Q107 - San Francisco Strings - Symphony for Lovers
Q108 - Royal Orchestra - European Suite
Q109 - Casey - Lights
Q110 - Harbour Brass - Soul Symphony
Q111 - Royal Orchestra - Tales from the Vienna Woods
Q112 - Harbour Voices - Bacharach

View attachment 46339
View attachment 46340
View attachment 46341
View attachment 46342
Not sure but I believe there was an unmarked compilation tape by them as well.
 

Infomas

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And just to add one more thing to this mystery: In Eddie's Discogs bio it says he worked at Roulette Records, which was mob owned. That all ties in very nicely with knock off tapes that are legit, but designed to screw the public out of their hard earned money. I'm sure these hit all the gas stations at least on the east coast.
 

atrocity

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You can find them all (I think there might be a dozen in total) in Mark Anderson's quad discography by searching for the 'USTI' prefix. No idea who "Casey" is - in fact it probably isn't anyone, I suspect that given the generic names of the artists on the other USTI tapes (Hyde Park Ensemble, Rio Grande Brass, Harbour Brass, Aspen Singers, etc) they're probably all from the same couple of groups of studio musicians or orchestras for hire.
Some of those budget labels would even re-issue the same recordings with different covers that credit the "artists" under different names.

A few months ago I went completely insane and digitized some easy listening albums I was given for Chr*stm*s in 1965. They had all come to me in generic plain white sleeves, so I got quite the education when looking them up online. One in particular, Heart of Spain, on the Spin-O-Rama (!) label is credited on my record to "Los Desperados" but I was able to fine a ton of different variants out there, some with the same album title, others with a different title but the same tracks, often credited to different people.

That one's surprisingly on at least one of the streaming services (in stereo, unlike my record!) credited simply to "Studio Group" or something like that. The artwork is a Crown record label and Crown was a notoriously cheap outfit, arguably most famous for ultra-cheap covers that fell apart immediately. I just digitized the Crown version of "Peer Gynt" I grew up with and realized something that got by me as a kid: Not only is the cover falling apart, but it claims to be in stereo when it isn't.
 
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