When tapes were king – memorabilia from Glasgow’s legendary tape shop in the 1970s
Part of the fun of this photo, taken in Glasgow’s legendary Casa Cassettes shop in August 1973, is trying to spot the famous faces on the tape covers in the background.
Shirley Bassey is definitely there, and Dionne Warwick, Johnny Cash, Lulu – it’s like a Who’s Who of that particular musical moment.
(Another source of great joy is the 70s fashion on display in the form of these stylish plaid trousers and contrasting floral tie. Mary Finlay, however, looks stylish and happy to open her third boutique in the city. , which boasted clever plexiglass display cases where customers could actually view the tapes.
Their original Jamaica Street (also pictured) and Oswald Street branches had everything behind the desk because, Mary explained, the problem with the tapes was that they were so small there was a risk that people slip them into a purse or pocket without paying for them.
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At the time these photos were taken, the cassette player was, in the words of our sister newspaper The Herald, the “music machine of the moment”.
According to the British Tape Industry Association, 4.9 million cassettes had been sold by 1972, with prices ranging from around £1.60.
Casa was formed in 1971 by former schoolteacher Janice and Mary, who had a background in music.
It had one of the widest selections of classical music on tape in Scotland, as well as pop, rock, jazz, country and western. Among its innovations was an exchange system, some 40 years ahead of its time, where customers could replace their old favorites with new bands, for a nominal fee.