Giant Communist Robot wrote:When I was a boy I used to see the flyers for record clubs--classical music was always the largest category, and the rock and roll I was interested in was either absent or represented by about five albums. Times have changed. Interest in classical music has shrunk to a niche. A specialized format for radio. Not an area of growth. Nevertheless, there's revenue available.
I was in the Columbia Record Club for years. There was actually a separate 'club' for classical music, although you could always order from the jazz, rock, soul, or pop music listings. The preference you specified when you joined the club determined which flyer was sent. Being in the Classical Club, my flyer usually included about a dozen pages (working from memory) of classical, four or so of jazz and blues, and about two each of pop, rock, and soul. I always assumed the other 'clubs' had a similar ratio for their interests, but I could not say for sure.
In my own area, classical music clubs and symphony societies were the best way to find classical music recordings, since music stores, or stores that carried music (we had no actual music stores in my immediate area), had smaller selections of classical music, if they carried any at all.
When I joined the club, you had your choice of reel-to-reel tapes, LPs, Cassettes, or 8-tracks (showing my age here). Actually, I don't recall 8-tracks being an option in the classical club, but there fore the pop and rock clubs. Reel-to-reel tapes dissappeared from the listing, and then 8-tracks. CDs were added. Laser disks may have been an ordering option at one time, but I don't think they were ever available as an automatic selection. At one point, I recieved notice that there discontinuing the LPs,and that I had to choose cassettes or CDs. I ignored the order, such that they no longer sent me a selection automatically, which was nice. I had long since met my obligated purchase, so I enjoyed having the selections available, but I hated having to send in the card to tell them not to send me the 'selection of the month'. Not specifying the format ended that annoyance.