So among the various Neil Diamond relics I have come across, these I HAD to get simply for the historical and novelty of them. They are a format I have actually never seen before!
Apparently years and years ago there was a push to try to get record players in cars. The Beatles and a few celebrities had one, but as you might suspect, it didn’t take off. Then came the record designed to be portable, with a portable player.
I give you the Philco Portable Record Player.
The advertisement says Actual Size, which due to formatting of your browser and whomever scanned the picture may or may not be true, but, I can tell you that the records are SMALL. Each is only 4 inches across. AND… they are flexi discs!
I know, right?
These adorable records were 69 cents when they hit the market. Cheap for a portable supposedly less fragile records. They did have a down side however. As with any flexi, it is susceptible to kinking. Once it gets bent… forget about it. Useless. Also, they could never stand up to vinyl 45’s as they wore out too quickly.
Read all about the evolution of the car/portable record players and their media at this great site:
Note the Neil Diamond in the back pocket in the pictures.
There were 2 (really 4, per Discogs) of Hip Pocket Neil Diamond releases. I found someone selling them both, mind you, this was really before I understood what they actually were. I thought they were just 45’s. The pleasant surprise was on me.
- “Neil Diamond – “Girl, You’ll Be A Woman Soon b/w Cherry Cherry” and
- “Neil Diamond – “You Got To Me b/w Solitary Man”
These are the standard releases, there was a promo version of each that said FREE where these versions list 69 cents in the upper right of the “cover”.
Inside is a piece of stiffening backer, and a tiny 4″ 2 sided record!
That giant blob in the lower left hand corner is my thumbnail! In order to get a feel for how big these records are I put a quarter and a ruler (yes Abbey that is your Heritage ruler) in the shot with one.
These are HP-5 and HP-17 from the Philco Ford Hip-Pocket Records collection.
Not sure exactly what this means on the back.
At any rate, I was anxious to check these out. The first one looked awesome on the TMR slip mat. I had a bit of a struggle gently getting it onto the record spindle.
Look how small!
Unfortunately, whether it be by design or by flaw, the spindle hole is too small, so it is too snug on the spindle and the record won’t turn freely. I wonder if the Philco Portable Record Player had a special size spindle. Wouldn’t that just be a great marketing ploy. I considered collecting all the slip mats I have and stacking them to above the spindle, then just setting it on top, but I decided that I would just have to have them as collectibles and not play them.
I’m glad that I saw these and was able to get them both, they are perfect for the Neil Diamond collection and another example of some interesting media formats from long ago.
Two teeny tiny Neil Diamonds!