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How Tire Makers Started Selling Christmas Records in the 1960s

  • Today, you can listen to anything you want on Apple Music or Spotify, but in the 1960s, Christmas music was only available on radio and vinyl.
  • While it seems unlikely today, Goodyear and Firestone sold holiday music along with their tires during the holiday season in the 1960s and early 1970s.
  • An Ohio-based LP-to-MP3 conversion company is still in business with these classic discs, but the days of getting discs at tire stores are long gone.

From Spotify playlists to radio stations launching holiday tunes on Black Friday, it’s nearly impossible to avoid the sounds of the Christmas spirit. But back in the 1960s, if you wanted a compilation of holiday tunes, chances were you could pick it up at the same place you pick up your new Whitewall set. From 1961 to his mid-’70s, long before Mariah Carey dominated the holiday spirit, tire manufacturers like Goodyear and Firestone sold his records in stores for about $1 (about $9.40 today). equivalent to).

Stanley Arnold was responsible for the unlikely but successful pairing of Rubber and Rudolph. Before Arnold worked at an advertising agency, he persuaded Goodyear executives to lure customers into stores with something now accessible to anyone with a smartphone. Arnold’s ideas helped Goodyear sell over 15 million records in his 17 years.

The album remains popular today. “The Goodyear and Firestone albums in particular are still bestsellers. Christmas LP to CD, a Cincinnati, Ohio company that converts vinyl to downloadable MP3s and CDs. “For Goodyear, 1965 and ’66 [albums] Two of the most popular. Firestone has a more even demand. ”

lucky strike

But how did Arnold associate Christmas music with tire companies? The Tale of the Blue Horse and Other Million Dollar Adventures, launched after a meeting at Lucky Strike’s headquarters in Durham, North Carolina. Arnold and others were invited to submit ideas that would help increase cigarette sales.

“All the way back to the office, I kept humming the song from the Lucky Strike TV commercial that was playing at the meeting,” Arnold wrote. “We decided that music would reverse the decline in Lucky Strike sales.”

Arnold’s idea was to offer anyone who mailed in a dollar and a proof of purchase for Lucky Strike a collection of music pulled from Columbia Records. It didn’t take long before sales picked up. The plan proved successful and Arnold set out to repeat it in another of his billion dollar industries, tires.

goodyear christmas music

The run-up to Christmas was an important season for tire sales, and Arnold believed music could draw people into Goodyear’s then 60,000 retail outlets. Arnold pitched the idea that buyers would be interested in his album of Christmas music.

One of the ways he made it easier for tire companies to agree to sell records was by proving it cost nothing. Arnold worked with Columbia Records, who agreed to put together a collection of his artist’s best recordings and to offer them exclusively to Goodyear for only $1 per record. As long as Goodyear sells records for the same price, tire companies won’t pay a penny for albums. Even if no one bought tires, these companies would not lose out on this scheme.

On appointment great christmas song, Arnold wrote versions of “Silent Night” sung by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Leonard Bernstein’s version of “We Will Have a Child” by the New York Philharmonic, “The First Noel, 12 Days of Christmas” and ” Deck the Hall”. Despite Arnold’s suggestion to order 3 million copies of him, Goodyear countered with his 90,000 record. Arnold worked to get his orders up to 900,000.

Christmas by the Fire (Stone)

It was around this time that Arnold heard that Firestone was working with RCA Records on a Christmas album.

By December 1, 1961, after only a few weeks of sales, Goodyear stopped promoting the Christmas album. The tire giant was selling every record they ordered. When his second Christmas on Goodyear album was released in 1962, all 1.5 million copies of his ordered were sold. This trend continued. By the time Goodyear’s sixth Christmas album was released, tire companies had increased orders to his four million records. Once again they were sold out. Eventually, distribution of the Goodyear Christmas compilation switched from Columbia Records to RCA Records. As a result, various artists appeared on these albums, including Julie Andrews and Ella Fitzgerald.

firestoneMeanwhile, he released a total of seven Christmas records from 1962 to the 1970s. Goodyear records often featured images of the artist, while Firestone records featured bows. Feinauer called his Goodyear album “Jingle Bells.” Firestone’s collection, on the other hand, leaned a bit more traditionally, as indicated by the record’s more understated branding.

By the mid-’60s, the trend of tire companies selling Christmas music was established along with other tire manufacturers such as: BF GoodrichOther stores such as JCPenney and Sears soon sold their own Christmas records as well. With this increased competition, sales of such albums from tire companies began to decline. Eventually, the days of tire makers selling Christmas records were over.

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