"David Bonner's fascinating look at the nostalgic world of Young People's Records takes the reader far beyond memory lane and into the political and philosophical worlds of those who planned them, wrote them, and performed on them. The complicated history of a host of record labels that sprung from those children's discs, which Mr. Bonner recounts, adds to the tremendous value of his book. Anyone who grew up with these priceless records must read what's on these pages."—Peter Bay, Conductor, Austin Symphony Orchestra

"I grew up with Young People's Records. 'The Funniest Song In The World' featuring Groucho Marx and 'By Rocket To The Moon' with Raymond Scott helped mold the mind of the boy who became Dr. Demento. Here's the whole story of how those and hundreds of other YPR favorites were created by some of the most progressive thinkers and artists of their times, how they became a target for those in the McCarthy era and later those who sought to repress and confine the minds of young Americans, and how their spirit of joy in knowledge perseveres."—Dr Demento, Syndicated Radio Personality


Saturday, May 2, 2009

"Awesome file of 1.2 million children"

click to enlarge

Here's some recently-discovered evidence regarding CRG's membership size. The figure of 1.2 million members is said to represent the total number who had joined since the club's inception (actually 1950—not 1951). If accurate, that's a minimum of 14,400,000 records sold, because each member was obligated to buy 12 records per year. But many members renewed their memberships one or more times, so the number of records sold is likely significantly higher than 14 million. (Again assuming the data given in this article is accurate.)

It is not clear if the 1.2 million figure refers only to primary CRG club (run by Stevenson's Greystone Corporation), or if it also includes the CRG franchise operated by Book of the Month Club.

In the book, I estimated annual record sales of "well over 2 million" by BOTH sources. But if the 1.2 million cited here refers only to Greystone's CRG, then the annual sales would actually be about double my original estimate.

As for the 600,000 figure given for Music Treasures of the World, that is consistent with the 599,411 figure given by Milo Sutliff when he testified at a Congressional hearing earlier that year (1956).