Established in 1961 in Silicon Valley, Memorex is today a consumer electronics brand of Imation specializing in disk recordable media (CD & DVD Drives), travel drives, flash storage, computer accessories and other electronics. Memorex entered the consumer business in 1971 first with its "shattering glass" advertisements and then with a series of famous television commercials featuring Ella Fitzgerald. In the commercials she would sing a note that shattered a glass while being recorded to a Memorex audio cassette. The tape was played back and the recording also broke the glass, asking "Is it live, or is it Memorex?"
Memorex started by first selling computer and video tapes, then added other media (e.g. disk packs) and then added peripheral equipment for IBM mainframes. During the 1970s and into the 1980s Memorex was worldwide a leading independent supplier of disk drives and communication controllers to users of IBM-compatible mainframes as well as a leading computer and consumer media supplier.
Memorex is a major distributor of blank CD and DVD media, Memorex CD-Rs are made by CMC Magnetics Corp of Taiwan, Ritek of Taiwan and Moser Baer of India. CD-Rs were formerly made by Daxon of Malaysia and Prodisc Technology of Taiwan.
Memorex's peripheral equipment businesses missed the transition from mainframes to servers and personal computers. In the 1980s Memorex was dismembered by its then owners, first Burroughs and then Unisys.
Memorex Telex N.V., a corporation based in The Netherlands, survived as an entity of the original Memorex until the middle 1990s. Unisys spun out the media, communications and IBM end user sales and service organization as Memorex. Subsequently Memorex merged with Telex. The company evolved into a provider of information technology solutions including the distribution and integration of data network and storage products and the provision of related services in 18 countries worldwide. As late as 2006, several pieces existed as subsidiaries of other companies, see e.g., Memorex Telex Japan Ltd a subsidiary of Kanematsu or Memorex Telex (UK) Ltd. a subsidiary of EDS Global Field Services.