Remembering Columbia House Record & Tape Club

Okay, so this doesn’t directly involve radio. However, it is certainly a geeky, guilty childhood pleasure that many of us can relate to. Do you remember the joys of the Columbia House Record and Tape club?

When I was a kid, buying a new record was always cause for excitement. There was just something about the smell of new vinyl and dropping that needle for the first time. However, the ULTIMATE thrill was getting my introductory shipment from Columbia House. I’d tear the postage-paid card out of the magazine, fill out my name and address, put it in the mail, then wait…wait…wait…

When the magic day finally arrived, it was was like Christmas in July or April or October. I’d come home from school, walk in the front door, and Mom would say “You got mail today!” There it was: right there, on the kitchen table, in all it’s glory! That beautiful brown box which contained not just 1, not just 2, but ELEVEN brand new record albums!


The most difficult part of the Columbia House experience was deciding which one to play first. Should I open them all at once and have a record-playing marathon? Or should I open one per day, giving me a new album every day for the next week and a half? (Since I’ve always been a saver at heart, I chose the latter.)

In a world filled with instant .mp3 downloads (legal and otherwise), kids will never know the sheer ecstasy of opening that package from 1400 North Fruitridge Avenue in Terre Haute, Indiana!

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