Ongoing History Daily: Cool History of Audio Tape, Part 4

One of the most confusing things about the Nazis during World War II is how they managed to broadcast music all night. 

After the BBC signed off at midnight, everyone across Europe could pick up signals from powerful German radio stations.  All night long, these stations broadcast classical music that didn’t seem to come from records.  After all, records had clicks and pops that everyone could hear.  And these records could only hold a maximum of four minutes.  This couldn’t be recorded music. 

Was Hitler crazy enough to keep musicians playing non-stop for the entire night?  No. 

What people were hearing was a tape recording from a device called the Magnetophone.  The Nazi had perfected recording sound and tape and used it as a way to keep the Allies confused, especially when it sounded like Hitler was giving different speeches in different cities at the same time. 

More on the history of audio tape tomorrow. Catch up: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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