The 1970's
Walking with the Walkman

Walking with the Walkman
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 5 to 7
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   6.13

     challenging words:    recording, flights, chairman, compact, override, production, operas, clipped, bands, public, businessman, describe, equipment, radio, anniversary, campaign
     content words:    Sony Corporation, Pacific Ocean, United States, Nobutoshi Kihara, Chairman Morita, On July, Sony Walkman

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Walking with the Walkman
By Jane Runyon

1     Are you one of them? You know, you've seen them. They're the ones who walk down the street bobbing their heads or doing a dance step. They don't seem to know that anyone else is around. There is a wire coming from one or both ears and connecting to a small box. It might be in their hands. It might be in a pocket. It might be clipped to the front of their shirt or pants. You know what they are doing. They are listening to their favorite tunes on an iPod or MP3 player.
2     Up until the 1970's, it wasn't that easy to carry music around with you. Unless you had a transistor radio small enough to carry, you were probably out of luck. Most recorded music was on eight track tapes too large to carry around. Equipment to play back recorded music was even harder to carry. That is until one businessman became so tired of trying, he did something about it.
3     A Japanese man named Morita was a co-chairman for the Sony Corporation. He often had to take airplane trips across the Pacific Ocean from Japan to the United States. The flights were long and tiring. To help him relax on the long flights, Morita liked to listen to his favorite opera music. To carry all of the equipment and tapes he needed to enjoy his operas, he almost needed to buy another seat on the plane. He complained to one of his engineers about the problem. Nobutoshi Kihara went right to work.

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