Remember those mail-order record clubs that offered vinyl albums & tapes for a penny?

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Vintage mail-order record clubs
These old mail-order record clubs offered super-cheap albums to the masses — originally on vinyl, later adding 8-track tapes, cassette tapes, and, finally, CDs.

The hitch? You had to order many more albums at “regular club prices,” which meant they weren’t cheap, and then there were the shipping and handling fees. You also had to respond each month to the club selection notice (one of which is below) or else you’d automatically receive the album of the month, and be charged for it.

These clubs were immensely popular, regardless of the actual savings — and for decades, ads like these could be seen in hundreds of newspapers and magazines across the country. Here’s a look back!

PS: Just to clarify, these are NOT current offers – they are from the ’60s, ’70s & ’80s. If you want to join, you will first need a time machine.

Now everyone can join the Columbia Record Club (1963)

Through either one of these two exciting offers: Be sure to indicate which club division best suits your musical tastes: Classical; Listening and Dancing; Broadway, Movies, Television and Musical Comedies, Jazz.

If you have a phonograph, you may choose any 6 regular or stereo records for only $1.99. FREE if you join now, this attractive adjustable record rack

Columbia Record Club 1963 (1)


A mail-order record club offer: Need a record player?

If you have no phonograph, or if you want a stereo phonograph, you can own this fine modern Columbia Compact Stereo Phonograph for only $7.95

Columbia Record Club 1963 (2)


Mail-order record clubs: Music categories (1965)

Romantic music — listen, dance, dream

Join the fun of a Hootenanny

Enjoy a swinging teen party

The best from Broadway and Hollywood

Vintage record club from 1965 - Albums available

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Join the Capitol Record Club & get 7 stereo albums! (1966)

Brighten your holiday with the music of Hollywood’s most popular recording stars

Mail the bound-in card now! Capitol Record Club will rush seven great albums to you in time for Christmas. Get 7 stereo or regular albums for $1.87… if you agree to buy only seven more at the regular Club price during the next year, from more than 300 a month to be offered. 

Join the Capitol Record Club & get 7 stereo albums! (1966)

Join the Capitol Record Club (1966)


Mail-order record clubs: Sign-up card

Please accept me as a member of the Capitol Record Club…

Popular vocalists, Classical, Country & western, Easy listening, Movies & shows, Teen, Jazz

capitol-record-club-dec-1966 (2)

Musical artists include…

Beach Boys, Beatles, Lou Rawls, Petula Clark, The King & I, Nancy Wilson, Zorba the Greek, Buck Owens, Jimmy Durante, Hank Williams Jr, Dean Martin, The Animals, Billy Strange, Doc Severinsen, Wayne Newton, Patsy Cline, Frank Sinatra, The Mamas and the Papas, Ray Charles, Goldfinger, Nat King Cole, Mel Torme, George Jones, Wizard of Oz/Judy Garland, Buck Owens, Herman’s Hermits, Faron Young, Nelson Eddy and more…


Would you believe… 13 records or tapes for $1.00? (1979)

TAKE YOUR PICK: 12″ stereo records, 8-track cartridges, tape cassettes, reel-to-reel tapes

Retro Columbia House record club from 1979 (2)

Retro Columbia House record club from 1979 (1)


Look who’s in the club now… 13 records or tapes for 1 cent (1979)

Vintage records or tapes from Columbia House 1979 (1)

Vintage records or tapes from Columbia House 1979 (2)

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Columbia record club regular mailing & reply cards (1971)

Vintage Columbia Record Club magazine with offers - 1971-1

Vintage Columbia Record Club magazine with offers - 1971-27

Vintage Columbia Record Club magazine with offers - 1971-28


Mail-order record clubs: Columbia Record Club Magazine (Vol. 71-5)

Don’t miss your exciting Regular Selections this month in the accompanying Regular Selection Brochure.

And be sure to check out pages 12 and 13! You’ll find 68 exciting albums to choose from — all for only 99 c each!

Vintage Columbia Record Club magazine with offers - 1971-006

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Additional Selections: Chart Champions

Janis Joplin

Pearl 198986 . . . $5.98 (Columbia)

With her tight new band, Full Tilt Boogie, giving her incredibly sympathetic support, Janis Joplin reaches new heights in these — her last recordings. She sings her dynamite smash single Me and Bobby McGee, plus nine other superbly tense rockers: Mercedes Benz; Buried Alive in the Blues; A Woman Left Lonely; Get It While You Can; Half Moon; My Baby; etc.

I Got Dem 0l’ Kozntic Blues Again, Mama! 181222 . . . $5.98 (Columbia)

Janis digs deep for some intense emoting on Try; Maybe; To Love Somebody; Little Girl Blue; Kozmic Blues; One Good Man; Work Me, Lord and As Good As You’ve Been to This World.

Cheap Thrills 168765 .. .$5.98 (Columbia)

Janis’ classic recording with Big Brother & The Holding Company! They electrify on Ball and Chain; I Need a Man to Love; Combination of the Two; Summertime; Piece of My Heart; Turtle Blues; one more.

Chicago

Chicago III (2-record set) – 199133… $9.98 (Columbia)

Freer, wilder than ever! They pull all the stops out on 23 rousing selections: their hit Free; Sing a Mean Tune Kid; I Don’t Want Your Money; Motorboat to Mars; Low- down; When All the Laughter Dies in Sorrow; Morning Blues Again; The Approaching Storm; A Hard Risin’ Morning Without Breakfast; What Else Can I Say; etc.

Chicago II – 187286 . . . $6.98 (Columbia)

Their supremely successful (and often imitated) bass-punctuated rock sound on their big hit 25 or 6 to 4, plus In the Country; Make Me Smile; Colour My World; Poem for the People; 18 more.

Chicago Transit Authority – 177683… $7.98 (Columbia)

They sing and play Introduction; I’m a Man; Liberation; Someday (August 29, 1968); Questions 67 and 68; Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?; Beginnings; Listen; Poem 58; three more.

Vintage Columbia Record Club magazine with offers - 1971-5

Vintage Columbia Record Club magazine with offers - 1971-6

Vintage Columbia Record Club magazine with offers - 1971-6

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Vintage Columbia Record Club magazine with offers - 1971-7

Vintage Columbia Record Club magazine with offers - 1971-7

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Vintage Columbia Record Club magazine with offers - 1971-8

Vintage Columbia Record Club magazine with offers - 1971-009

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Vintage Columbia Record Club magazine with offers - 1971-9

Vintage Columbia Record Club magazine with offers - 1971-010

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Vintage Columbia Record Club magazine with offers - 1971-10

Vintage Columbia Record Club magazine with offers - 1971-10

Vintage Columbia Record Club magazine with offers - 1971-11

Vintage Columbia Record Club magazine with offers - 1971-12

Vintage Columbia Record Club magazine with offers - 1971-013


Down Yonder: Country Music Hall of Fame series

Vintage Columbia Record Club magazine with offers - 1971-13

Vintage Columbia Record Club magazine with offers - 1971-014


Music in the great tradition: Premiere performances & Classical Favorites

Vintage Columbia Record Club magazine with offers - 1971-14

Vintage Columbia Record Club magazine with offers - 1971-015


Big ones at the box office

Vintage Columbia Record Club magazine with offers - 1971-15


Giants of Jazz & Laugh it up

Vintage Columbia Record Club magazine with offers - 1971-016


Additional selections: Fireworks from London Phase 4

Vintage Columbia Record Club magazine with offers - 1971-16


Additional selections: Child’s Play

Vintage Columbia Record Club magazine with offers - 1971-017


Carpenters: Young Sounds Regular Selection

Rainy Days and Mondays/Saturday/Let Me Be the One/Hideaway/For All We Know/Superstar/ Druscilla Penny/One Love/Bacharach-David Medley: Knowing When to Leave • Make It Easy On Yourself • There’s Always Something There to Remind Me • I’ll Never Fall in Love Again • Walk On By • Do You Know the Way to San Jose/ Sometimes

Don’t miss the Academy Award winner For Alt We Know in their first new album since “Close To You”– which won them the Grammy Award as “Best New Artists of the Year!”

Richard Carpenter and his sister Karen won not just one, but two Grammy awards this year — they also turned in the Best Contemporary Vocal Performance by a Group, in their million-selling version of Close to You (available as No. 196444, $4.98).

Now they’re back with their best-selling version of the Academy Award winner, For All We Know, plus other great songs by Henry Mancini, Leon Russell and Bonnie Bramlett, Randy Sparks, Richard Carpenter himself, and a medley of six big hits by Burt Bacharach and Hal David.

The unique soft vocal rock that the Carpenters offer is one of the greatest sounds around, given propulsion by Karen’s solid work at the drums. This collection is a sure-fire smash that you’re sure to enjoy for months to come!

Vintage Columbia Record Club magazine with offers - 1971-018

Note: The Regular Selection for your division will be sent to you unless you advise us otherwise on the enclosed card You may buy any of the Selections described in the Brochure or in the accompanying Magazine in addition to or instead of your Selection. All purchases count either toward fulfillment of your enrollment agreement or earn Free Record Announcements. Free Record Announcements may be redeemed for any of the selections described in this Brochure or in the accompanying Magazine.


Vintage mail-order record clubs: Easy Listening Regular Selection, Burt Bacharach

Mexican Divorce/They Long to Be Close to You/Nikki/ Wives and Lovers/All Kinds of PeopIe/”And the People Were With Her” (Suite for Orchestra) /April Foofs/Hasbrook Heights/Freefall/One Less Bell to Answer

Last year Burt Bacharach won the composer’s triple crown: Hollywood gave him two Oscars for his score for “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” and its hit song, written with Ha! David, Raindrops Keep Failin’ On My Head; Broadway gave him its Tony Award for his score for “Promises, Promises,” and he won the record industry’s Grammy Awards for “Promises, Promises” and “Butch Cassidy”, too!

And he keeps right on going! Close to You and One Less Bell to Answer — both in this new collection — became Number One best-sellers, his albums are consistently on the charts, and his television specials won wide acclaim. Now this new program — featuring him as composer, arranger and pianist- — is headed straight for the top.

You’ll hear Wives and Lovers . . . April Fools . . . Nikki . . . and more, including two rare Bacharaeh instrumentals, Freefall and the Suite for Orchestra, “And the People Were With Her”. If you’re looking for good summer (and autumn and winter and spring) listening, you just can’t do any better than this great new Bacharaeh special!

Freebies and offers from Vintage mail-order record clubs

Vintage Columbia Record Club magazine with offers - 1971-19


The newest hits: Lily Tomlin, Carole King, Bobby Sherman

Vintage Columbia Record Club magazine with offers - 1971-20


The greatest BIG BAND COLLECTION ever assembled

Vintage Columbia Record Club magazine with offers - 1971-2

Vintage Columbia Record Club magazine with offers - 1971-4

Vintage mail-order record clubs - 1971


3 free – Right now! just by getting a friend to join the Columbia Record Club.

From Columbia Record Club: And Your Friend Gets This Big Money-saving Offer: 12 Records for only $2.86 when he joins the Club and agrees to buy as few as 10 records in the coming 2 years.

Sponsoring Member: Choose 3 Records Free

If your account is in good standing, you may choose any 3 records — FREE — from the Club Magazine when you get a friend to join the Club! (Please note: Multi-record sets listed in the Magazine count as the number of single records stated.)

Just fill out the Application Card in this booklet and give it to your friend who should complete the postpaid application card and mail it to the Club. Your 3 FREE RECORDS will be sent to you as soon as your friend’s application is processed.

Club Applicant: Choose 12 Records for Only $2.86

All you do to join the Columbia House/Columbia Record Club is choose 12 Records from the Columbia Record Club Magazine or the Regular Selections Brochure, for which you’ll be billed only $2.86, plus mailing and handling.

To take advantage of this sensational offer, you just agree to buy 10 more records from the Club in the next 2 years. They’ll be mailed and billed to you at the regular Club price of $4.98/$5.98 each, plus mailing and handling. (Some special recordings are somewhat higher.) Please note: Multi-record sets listed in the Club Magazine count as the number of single records stated.

Vintage mail-order record clubs: The $$$$-Saving Benefits of Membership

Free Magazines! Every four weeks you will receive your free copy of the Club’s music magazine that describes the latest Club selections– the greatest stars on the top labels!

Free Record Plan! One of the greatest things about being a Club member is all the free records you get. After completing your initial agreement you can choose ONE RECORD FREE for EVERY RECORD YOU BUY at regular Club price from the Club Magazine. There’s only a small mailing and handling charge of 25c for each free record, so you’ll be getting the records you want at practically a 50% discount!

Special Club Buys! We also create special records for Club members. Most of these are not available in stores. Often these special records are offered at very low prices.

Free Charge Account! When we receive payment for your first record purchase, we open a free Charge Account in your name. You can then pay for your records after you’ve had a chance to play and enjoy them!

Easy ordering! If you want only the monthly Regular Selection for your musical interest you need do nothing — it will be shipped to you automatically. Or you may order any other record or records offered or no record in any particular month, just by telling us so on the convenient Selection Card you mail to us by the date specified.

And, from time to time the Club will offer some special records which you may refuse by returning the special dated form … or accept by simply doing nothing.

Just fill out the application card in this booklet and mail it today! Fill out card, detach on dotted line and mail today. No postage needed.

Vintage Columbia Record Club magazine with offers - 1971-25

Application Card: To be filled in by Sponsoring Member

Please send me the following three records– free — as my gift when the application for the new member (whose signature appears below) is processed. (Select your three free records from the Club Magazine and write the corresponding numbers on the lines below.)

To be filled in by Club Applicant

Please accept my application for membership in the Columbia House/Columbia Record Club. I have written on the lines below the numbers of the twelve records I wish to receive for only $2.86, plus a mailing and handling charge covering entire shipment. (Select your records from the Club Magazine. Please note: Multi-record sets listed in the magazine count as the number of single records stated.)

My Main Musical Interest Is: (Check 1 box only):

□ Easy Listening □ Country □ Broadway and Hollywood □ Classical □ Young Sounds □ Jazz

I understand that I may select records from any field of music. I agree to buy 10 more records in the next 2 years from the Club Magazine at regular Club prices (plus a mailing and handling charge) under the terms outlined in this offer.

I may cancel my membership thereafter, but if I continue I can choose ONE RECORD FREE for EVERY RECORD I BUY at regular price from the Club (only 25c mailing and handling charge).

All records will be described to me in advance in the Club Magazine, sent to me every four weeks, together with a convenient form which I may use for accepting or rejecting any records, as outlined in this booklet. In addition, I will be offered special albums which I may accept or reject by using the dated form provided.

Vintage Columbia Record Club magazine with offers - 1971-26


From Columbia: The power you need… the speakers you’d choose… for the SOUND you want

Vintage Columbia Record Club magazine with offers - 1971-21

Vintage mail-order record clubs


A sound system a wealthy audiophile would be proud to own!

MORE: How do you choose a good turntable? Old-school tips for the best record players

Vintage Columbia Record Club magazine with offers - 1971-23

Vintage mail-order record clubs from the 70s


The big 1c steal: Take any 11 albums for a penny, then take a 12th one for free! (1984)

Eddie Rabbit – Journey – The Police – Stevie Nicks – Billy Joel – Air Supply – Loverboy – Flashdance – Jackson Browne

MORE: MTV music television started a rock revolution in the ’80s by playing non-stop music videos

Vintage Columbia House music club - 1984

Vintage Columbia House record club - 1984


Take any 8 CDs or 12 cassettes for 1 cent (1990)

CBS Columbia House record music club 1990

1990 Columbia record and tape club

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