Relive Kmart’s glory days with in-store music
Notice to Kmart buyers! Ahh, some of us heard those words a lot when we were kids. Kmart was the place to be for many families with the Blue Light Specials and food court names. It was your thrift store where your dollar buys you more. Who can forget to walk through these aisles as random tunes echoed through the speakers? And, at different intervals, a loyal employee would interrupt and give buyers an important announcement. Those days (and many Kmarts) are long gone, but thanks to a former employee, we can ease that background noise magic a bit. (Thanks to Boing boing for bringing this to our attention.)
Mark Davis used to don the infamous red vests at the store in Naperville, Ill. In the late 80s and early 90s. He worked behind the service counter where the store played its tunes. . Davis revealed that the playlist came from a cassette issued by the company. For some mysterious reason, he kept these tapes, saving them from death in a dumpster. These songs are now available on the Internet Archives for our listening pleasure.
Angled tripod mount /Youtube
It is certainly a good shot nostalgia to hear this music. If you close your eyes, you can imagine a younger one strolling around the store. Ahhh, we can almost smell those hot dogs and onions right now. They were perfect with an Icee. Davis’ YouTube video really takes you back in time as he plays one of his tapes with a Kmart ad on it.
The best part about these music downloads is the comments. There is a host of Kmart fans and music lovers who are working overtime to understand these songs. For example, the October 1989 Kmart list includes superb jams like “Goodbye Again” by Olivia Newton-John and “You Make It Feel Like Christmas” by Neil Diamond.
Mark Davis won’t admit it but I bet he probably knew some of these tapes by heart. I speak from my own personal experience as a former mall employee. Listening to the same songs all day long, even if they are a bit loud in the background, does that to you. Before you know it, you start singing. Now you too can sing elevator-like music from the comfort of your own home. It won’t fill the Kmart leadership void but it’s pretty close.