Loved this episode - I know this is late feedback, but just listened to it yesterday on a road trip to the Arizona Outback. I have a few K-Tel albums. These were a good way for kids with NOT a lot of money to have access to the songs they liked. Sure, there was AM and FM radio, but you had to wait through a LOT of stuff before YOUR SONG came on, if it ever did (and if you had an FM radio, you had some dough anyway, and you weren't hearing the pop schmaltz that was the bread and butter of K-Tel)
"Fantastic" was my first album. Ever. I now have about 1,500 vinyl albums and it all started with that one. Today, I have 3 copies of Fantastic (all are American Pressings), a SEALED (as in not opened) copy of Pure Power (that's a Canadian Pressing), 20 Power Hits (American Pressing), The Rock Album (American), Good Time Music! (Folk stuff, American Pressing - but it does have "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" on it by the Tokens - clearly a doo-wop group), and 20 Explosive Hits (American Pressing). I think I have a few more, but they have not yet been re-designated under the K-TEL name and may still be under their actual album name.
I had a couple of those Record Selectors - worthless to me, I sold them on eBay when I was financing a vacation.
The names on the backs of the American Pressings include K-Tel International (421 Wilson St NE, Minneapolis, MN); K-tel International, Inc. (11311 K-tel Drive, Minnetonka, MN); Imperial Products (421 Wilson St NE, Minneapolis, MN)
Sorry about rambling, but there it is.
- Paul in AZ