Archives Collection
RCA VICTOR POPULAR ALBUM CLUB                             91-030

Physical description:

25 l.f. including oversize




These records were donated to the Center in the fall of 1991 by Richard Gordon, of Memphis TN, son of Irwin Gordon.

Agency history:

According to Russell Sanjek, American Popular Music and Its Business, Vol. III, soon after the introduction of the mailable vinyl lp entrepreneurs like Book of the Month Club (BOMC) began experimenting with various types of record clubs. By the late 1950s record companies, led by Columbia and RCA Victor, followed suit. Initially most record clubs focused on consumers of classical music. But the initial response to the Victor Society of Great Music, which the company operated in cooperation with BOMC, "prompted Victor to open the Popular Album Club" in 1956. (p. 337) By 1959 the RCA Victor club, along with those of Columbia and Capitol, accounted for 90% of the mail order record business.

Scope and content:

Separations, layouts, proofs and final copy of advertisements prepared 1959-1961 by Irwin Gordon, New York, for Batten, Barton, Durstine and Osborn, the agency which handled promotion of the RCA Victor Popular Album Club. Most of the advertisements include lists of the publications in which the copy appeared and the dates and some are annotated for changes and corrections.

Publications in which the advertisements appeared include Mademoiselle, Redbook, Glamour, YoungHomemakers, Ladies Home Journal, Better Homes and Gardens, Photoplay, Ebony, Cavalier, True, Argosy, TrueAdventure, Esquire, Sports Illustrated, Dude, Gent, Coronet, Parade, Saturday Evening Post, Look, Life and newspapers in Chicago, San Francisco, Des Moines, New York, Los Angles, Philadelphia, and Seattle.

Also full size color copies of album covers which appeared in the advertisements; mounted photographs with cropping instructions used for the cover of an album by Perry Como; and paste up dummies of seven issues of PopularAlbum News.


The dummy proofs of Popular Album News are filed first by accession number, then by issue number with other manuscripts. The advertisement proof sheets, which are subdivided into magazine and newspaper, album cover copies and Perry Como album photographs are filed first by accession number then in the order listed in the flat file with other oversize manuscripts.

Related materials:

Issues of the Popular Album News, 1958-1961, and of the Popular Album News, stereo division, 1959-1960, received with these records have been transferred to serials. Consult the serials kardex files for a list of specific issues.