Ring der Musikfreunde

Ring der Musikfreunde (Circle of music friends) is a record club founded in Cologne 1956 by P.P. Kelen Schallplatten GmbH in which the US record company VOX has a significant stake. It is also their representation in Germany. Ring der Musikfreunde releases large parts of the VOX repertoire exclusively through his own labels Orbis, Pantheon and Parnass. The records are available for members of Ring der Musikfreunde, as well as under licence in other record clubs. At the end of 1962, Bertelsmann acquires Ring der Musikfreunde and develops it into a special club for lovers of classical and early music. The Orbis label remains with the club, while Parnass is continued by Bertelsmann Schallplattenring and Pantheon by VOX. 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 Charts-compilations, 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.

Related Labels

RDM1 Label
RDM2 Label
RDM4 Label
RDM5 Label
RDM6 Label
RDM7 Label