Ring der Musikfreunde is founded in Cologne in 1956, by P.P. Kelen Schallplatten GmbH. At the end of 1962, Bertelsmann acquires Ring der Musikfreunde and continues it as a special club for lovers of classical music. At the beginning of the 1970s, Ring der Musikfreunde – a club without mandatory purchases – becomes part of the Kelen Musikprogramm, in which Bertelsmann's mail-order activities, ongoing since 1964, are already pooled. Further special clubs emerge from this alliance, such as Club Top 13 (1973) with the successful Hitparade samplers, and hallo RTL (1977), a club based on Radio Luxemburg’s program and the commercial channel RTL plus, founded in 1984. At their peak, these special clubs jointly supply around 300,000 members with music from a wide variety of musical genres. In 1992, the record offer of the special interest clubs is discontinued in favor of CDs. The mail-order business finally stops selling records in the following year.