"Just the sound of James Taylor's voice carries me back to campus days.
My brother Roger had let me have his old cassette player - I think it easily weighed two kilos - and I would play over and over again a cassette of James Taylor's first album that someone had copied for me.
It wasn't till 1980 or thereabouts that I spent the princely sum of $390 (yes I was THAT music mad) to acquire what was then called the **Sony Soundabout (as marketed in the USA and a few other places) and would later be renamed the Walkman (the original Japanese name) that I bought my first "original" music cassette. It was, of course, James Taylor's first album.
I sold the Soundabout to an "air hostess" (yup, that was what we called them then) on my way home from a trip and I had enough money only to make a telephone call and ask if someone could come and give me a ride home.
I was bereft of portable music till I had earned enough money to buy another. But this time, it was called a Walkman. And I still have it somewhere, though not the original headset. The sponge tended to disintegrate rather quickly. As someone who works in an office sometimes and takes planes every so often, headphones are a must.
The quality of some of those old cassette tapes was really good. My Walkman still holds The Köln Concert by Keith Jarrett."
*Ms. Hoe was research officer in our Civil Service, leader / feature writer at New Nation, one of 7 editors who launched The New Paper and is copy editor for Digital Life.
** The original Walkman was marketed in Japan in 1979. From 1980, the Soundabout was sold in many other countries including the US, Freestyle in Sweden and the Stowaway in the UK.
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James Taylor - A Big Part of my Story is Recovery from Addiction.