SHOPPING BY POST? New? This recent donation, to the freebie table at the Ephemera Society’s fairs, is a reminder that it was once exciting to shop using a printed catalogue rather than browsing in a record shop.
The Australian Record Club (ARC) was a mail order music/record distributor; an arm of the Australian Record Company (the Company) which began in 1936. This history of the record company is detailed (and interesting) so read more about it – here.
The Club was in existence from about 1960 until the 1980s; the starting date coincides with a new board being appointed to the Company. The Club also had its own magazine, which it distributed to members with special offers and stock listings. A Trove search finds an advertisement in the Canberra Times of September 1962 about the ARC selection. This appears to be quite early in the life of ARC as it offers 42 album titles but only records numbered 6 – 97. So ARC has been in business for long enough to run out of some stock.
The copies to hand are volume 5, no. 9 and a handful from volume 6 – which seems to be from 1964. This guess has been made because volume 6, no.2 features the album of the My Fair Lady film soundtrack, the film was released in 1964.
ARC appealed to a wide musical range – new members were asked to nominate their main area of interest – Classical, Popular or Jazz. Then inside there was a detailed and sometimes colourful display of releases.
Interestingly this magazine is very ephemeral – only the National Library of Australia seems to have copies and these are just a small number from odd years in the 1970s and 80s.
Interested in owning these?
If you are a current ESA member, they are available for the cost of mailing out nine magazine issues and seven promotional brochures, estimated to be $10 or collect from Mandy Bede’s place. Contact via the comments’ box below.
PS Not the World Record Club
ARC was not to be confused with the World Record Club’s Australian franchise which operated from 1957 to 1976 in Hartwell, a Melbourne suburb.