Memories of my audio tape recorder

Mémoire de mon magnétophone à cassettes

English version below the pictures

Comment les idées vous  surgissent dans l’esprit ? Je me le demande. C est ainsi que ce matin je repensais soudainement que j’ avais enregistré des audio cassettes en 1969 avec mon tout neuf magnétophone à cassette Radiola acheté en 1968. Je me suis souvenu avoir  enregistré la voix de ma grand-mère en février 1969.  Elle mourut la même année et sa voix n’était déjà plus comme d’habitude. Cependant, j’avais réussi à lui faire chanter deux ou trois chansons . C’était la première fois que je l’entendais chanter. Ma grand-mère (du côté maternel) était une femme forte de la campagne qui avait élevé avec son mari, ouvrier de carrière, huit enfants et aussi deux de ses  frères. (Elle était orpheline)..

Sur la même cassette  j’avais enregistré en connectant le magnétophone à  la télévision le dernier discours du général de Gaulle à Quimper (Bretagne) en Février 1969. Il a été très émouvant d’entendre le dernier grand homme de la France. (décédé en 1970)

My audio tape recorder Mon magnétophone à cassettes

My grandmother , maternal side mid 1960

General de Gaulle

    How do the ideas come in your mind ? I am wondering . So this morning I thought all of a sudden I had recorded in 1969 some audio cassettes with my brand new Radiola cassette tape recorder bought in 1968. I remembered I had recorded the voice of my grand mother in february 1969 , . She died the same year and her voice already was not like usual. However,  I had succeeded to make her sing . It was the first time I heard her sing . My grandmother (my  mother ‘ s side ) was a strong country woman who had brought up with her husband who was a quarry worker, eight children and also two brothers .( she was an orphan) 

     On the same cassette I had recorded in connecting the recorder the TV the last public speech  of the General de Gaulle in Quimper (Brittany ) in February 1969. It was very moving to hear the last grand Man of France .( who died en 1970).


Que se passait-il pour Janine et moi en 1969 ? Nous étions mariés depuis 1961 et en 1969 nous avions quatre enfants ; Carole ( 1962), Thierry(1964), Véronique (1966) et Pierre ( 1968) . Nous avions aussi un chien , Netta . Les deux derniers enfants  Isabelle et Jean-Baptiste sont nés en 1971 et 74. Nous étions très heureux en dépit des évènements de 1968 , une sorte de révolution culturelle de riches , faite par des jeunes privilégiés qui n’ avaient pas connu les temps durs de la guerre et d’avant  ,  . Cette cassette video est en quelque sorte un ultime témoin de ce que fut la France.

The family in 1969 ( left to right): Carole ( future ” duchess” Janine holding Pierre, Véronique and Thierry

What was happening to Janine and me in 1969? We had been married since 1961 and in 1969 we had four children; Carole (1962), Thierry (1964), Véronique (1966) and Pierre (1968). We also had a dog, Netta. The last two children Isabelle and Jean-Baptiste were born in 1971 and 74. We were very happy despite the events of 1968, a kind of cultural revolution of the rich, made by privileged young people who had not known the hard times of the war and before , . This video cassette is in a way an ultimate witness of what was France.


About fauquetmichel

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94 Responses to Memories of my audio tape recorder

  1. A good way to catch up with memories. I particularly like the 1969 family group

  2. Your tapes are wonderful documents. They are priceless, really.

  3. LGail says:

    So interesting. I had a recorder and used it mostly for reading my shorthand back to myself and help with other school homework. I also love your photo of Janine and the children.

  4. judyrutrider says:

    While Americans are generally considered very ignorant of the politics of European countries, I immediately identified General de Gaulle. It’s interesting to learn that you recorded not only your own family, but his speech as well. I would love to be able to hear my grandmother’s voice again, but my family didn’t have anything more than a camera when she was alive.

  5. Très touchant cela, Michel. Les souvenirs de ta famille, les photos de ta famille et surtout la voix de ta grand mère.
    Une douce et souriante fin de journée à Janine et à toi.

    • Oui , Gilles, le magnétophone à cassettes était un précieux outil. Pour enregistrer la voix de ma grand-mère je mettais ce petit magnétophone dans la poche ce mon imperméable et le micro dans la pochette de mon veston.

  6. Caro says:

    Oh les photos que de souvenirs….
    Incroyable cet appareil encore …que d emotion quand tu as entendu ta grand-mère et le discours du général…..les petits bonheurs dont on ne se lasse pas .
    Bonne soirée à vous deux je vous embrasse bien fort Carole

  7. Susan Joos says:

    What a time capsule! Does the recorder still play? I wish I had a recording of my grandmother’s voice.

    In 1969 I would have been 14; such an awkward age. Love the picture of your still-to-grow family!

  8. nannyfountain says:

    Memories are so important in our twilight years! Love to all, Nancy

  9. Stephanie says:

    J’apprécie le message de ce post. Espérons que le (semblant) équilibre revient, ceux qui n’ont pas connu le misère de guerre (moi, par exemple) n’ont aucun idée.
    La paix, famille, l’amour, c’est tout ce qu’il faut

  10. calmkate says:

    how wonderful to have recorded such history, and I love your sharing memories of your lovely family 🙂

  11. The tapes are a treasure! How wonderful for you to have them and pass them on to your family! History is voices! 🙂
    The family photos are lovely and sweet! 🙂
    (((HUGS))) ❤️

  12. atagrandma says:

    I used to have my Grandmother’s story on cassette tape. She escaped from Turkey when she was 15 and came to America to marry my Grandfather even though she had never met him. Their parents arranged the wedding. That was in 1904, so she escaped the horrible massacre in 1915. Most of her family disappeared about that time, so they were probably killed. My brother took the tapes to his studio in Madrid and transferred them to CDs. It is a blessing to be able to hear her voice. Most people can’t understand them because of her accent, but I can, and of course, I know the story.

  13. Rachel says:

    Nice to see the photos.
    Even as a small child I kept track of world leaders. Charles de Gaulle was one of them. Most teens today would not be able to name him. Life changes.
    Happy Christmas Season, Michel!

  14. murisopsis says:

    I recorded audio of the moon landing on a Panasonic tape recorder in 1969 and then Pres. Nixon’s resignation speech in 1974. I still have the tapes but the tape player has long disappeared!

  15. Doug Thomas says:

    I had a BIC pen shaped like General Chrles de Gaulle that I bought in a 1971 visit to Paris. I also had one shaped like Georges Jean Raymond Pompidou, President of France at the time. That personality pen was a lot less recognizable to my American friends.

    Once, in an army formation for the battalion commander, I had the de Gaulle pen sticking out of a shirt pocket (I forgot it there!). The battalion commander, of course, noticed it and made an issue about the non-military item in my pocket. “But it’s shaped like the WWII Free French’s great General Charles de Gaulle,” I said in my defense. The battalion commander harumpfed and decided my de Gaulle pen met the standard for “military” enough! LOL! Even an American Colonel knew about de Gaulle and his place in WWII history!

    • I remember Roosevelt did not like much de Gaulle . He thought it was perhaps communist !!! 🙂

      • Doug Thomas says:

        De Gaulle was a bit of a prima donna, too. I think Eisenhower (and Roosevelt) saw him holding a lesser position in the liberation of France than de Gaulle himself did, so they thought of him as being arrogant and difficult. Why shouldn’t he have been the first one in Paris as a Frenchman and leader of the Free French forces? He wasn’t a “yes man” to anyone and upset a lot of people in NATO when he pulled France’s troops out of it in 1966. He definitely felt France needed to be treated as one of the major world powers and that the USA in particular looked down on France.

      • American politicians do not hesitate to say that France is their first ally since 1780 but on the other hand they also say that France has lost its power.

        In friendship

      • Doug Thomas says:

        LOL! On the other hand, they don’t mention that another ally, the UK, invaded the US twice and sided with the Confederate States of America in the US Civil War, since that was a source of cotton for their mills.

      • Exactly, Doug! 🙂

  16. blb1 says:

    I don’t think my cassette player now exists. I know the tapes don’t. My VHS player quit working and one can’t find one now. The DVD player on it still did but I haven’t tried to use it of late. wrote down how but that doesn’t mean I can still do it.

  17. mrswrangler says:

    Unfortunately a part of life is aging. Where has 11 years went with Wrangler.

  18. Resa says:

    Wow, Michel!
    What a wonderful find from the past.
    Your grandmother was a strong woman – 8 children & a hard life. Still, it seems she was filled with a special honour. My grandmother was the same, except only 5 children.
    I’ve always wondered about General de Gaulle. Was he merely a president…..or a beloved president.
    Great post Michel. xoxo Resa

  19. Marion says:

    How wonderful you recorded your grandmother’s voice! Also lovely photos here of your grandmother and Janine with the children. 🙂

  20. Julie Essex says:

    What great memories Michel , I love the photo seeing the Duchess with her doll 🙂 .You are lucky to have kept these tapes , I had some video tape that my Dad took I tried to get it put on a CD but the tape had become very weak so the shop could not do it

  21. neilc693 says:

    ces enregistrements sont objets de valeur (pour des raisons différentes) . . . on peut les numériser facilement aussi, il y a beaucoup des techniciens qui offrent de le faire aux gens.
    in college my friends and I who were studying scientific and technical subjects, we all had memories of making audio tape recordings of episodes of Carl Sagan’s “Cosmos” television program.

    • When I recorded General de Gaule speech at the TV in using a phone tape recorded in pluging it at the TV , it was in 1969, I was 36 years old !

      • neilc693 says:

        that epoch is a little bit romanticized in memories now . . . we don’t have a very thorough understanding here of the 1968 events, but it strikes me that the student part of it was perhaps more idealistic than practical. of course the same can still be found today

      • Romanticism? no doubt but which has left deep traces in society. I can compare the way of life before and after 1968.

      • neilc693 says:

        the Summer of Love, riots, May 1968, the Prague Spring — many things happened in that time all over the world, some frivolous, some serious, and that all still reverberate today

      • I like your comparison Prague Spring, May 1968. Whatever you think, it was a need for renewal!

      • neilc693 says:

        It was before my time, but it seems to me the call for renewal was maybe, in some ways, more compelling than the results . . . more constant over time, too .

      • You are right, Neil . At every vote I knew 70 year ago , every candidat appeals for the renewal . And in fact It always is the same or so little change

      • neilc693 says:

        il s’agit que les anxiétés restent pareil . . . and not only that, but they are always being renewed !

  22. Lavinia Ross says:

    I love all the photos of times past! I am old enough to remember when General de Gaulle was in power. I am glad you were able to capture on tape your grandmother singing. What memories that must bring for you! Memory is a long, long highway on which we travel to earlier times.

    Much love to you, Janine and the family, ❤️

  23. KB says:

    What a fascinating thing a cassette recorder was! But nothing survived of the tapes we made as young teenagers when the exciting thing to do was make ‘mix tapes’ by recording music on the radio. My husband has a box of reel-to-reel tapes–recordings of various family members in Germany. Sadly, the only thing I can understand is when one of the Omas says “Allo Thomas”!

  24. sherazade says:

    Caro Michel
    Ogni tuo scritto è così ricco di storia e di sentimenti che mi accarezzano il cuore e la mente al pensiero che più siamo persone così belle come voi Tutti siet
    Grazie, grazie, grazie di cuore💙❤️💚

  25. kmaidy says:

    bonsoir Michel,
    comme cela doit être émouvant d’avoir encore la voix de ta grand-mère enregistrée et de pouvoir la ré écouter encore ! justement je trouve que l’on oublie complètement la voix de ceux qui sont déja partis !
    avec des bises vous souhaite bonne soirée !

  26. L. Marie says:

    I remember the days of audio cassettes, Michel! I do not miss the tapes breaking!
    Love to you and Janine. ❤️

  27. oh so interesting!
    lots of hidden gems on tapes!! ❤

  28. Yes, Marlane, tapes content treasured memories ❤

  29. Anne-Marie says:

    De beaux moments d’Histoire familiale et patriotique 🇫🇷

    Touchante aïeule tenant sa serpette si utile dans le jardin.

    Et un grand Général et une bien belle famille ! En plus avec le son d’un appareil

    mythique (je me souviens de mon cassettophone aussi), tout cela génère de forts beaux souvenirs


    Amitiés, A-M

  30. suester7 says:

    Are you able to play back your cassette tapes? It’s wonderful that you recorded your grandmother’s voice.

    I no longer have cassette tapes nor a cassette player. Technology has advanced and now everything is on my phone. I remember when I was working as a writer, I would bring a tape recorder to interviews and record what was being said. Now, if I want to record something, I just use my phone. How technology has changed!

  31. Continuing to pray for you, Michel.
    (((HUGS))) ❤️🙏💐❤️

  32. Lakshmi Bhat says:

    Those are precious photos. Thank you for sharing. We too had many audio cassettes. We no longer listen to them as we do not have the player. Those days were so different. Now I listen to lectures or to music in YouTube.
    Praying for your good health. Hope your wife is keeping good health.
    We wish you and your family good health and happiness in the coming years.

  33. I love cassette tapes. Little still listens to books on cassette tapes, records, and still watches videos on our vcr.

  34. Su says:

    Your post really gave me chills. Me, I remember making mixed cassette tapes when I was a kid. My father always played the mixed cassette tapes with his favorite songs, so I copied him.

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