Hip-Pocket Records - The Box Tops
HP-27 The Box Tops (The Letter/Happy Times)
Following on my recent post about Alex Chilton and The Box Tops here's another version of The Letter. This time it's a Hip-Pocket flexi-disc. Marketed as "the most portable form of music" Hip-Pocket Records were 4'' flexi-discs produced by Philco (a division of Ford Mortors) between 1967 and 1969. Each flexi-disc was double-sided and came housed in a 5'' x 6.25'' picture envelope. In total 41 different titles were produced and The Letter by The Box Tops was No. 27 in the series. A children's series of 12 flexis was also produced.
HP-27 4'' Flexi-disc
"Buy the hits you missed - 25 to 50 hip pocket records can be carried in pocket or purse - Hip pocket records can be mailed with greeting cards as a gift - They will outlast a regular 45 - Drop them or sit on them...they are almost indestructible - Take them to parties or to the beach or picnic...they are the most portable form of music - Don't let the small size fool you...the sound is amazingly big - Start your collection of hip pocket records today."
The back of HP-27
Philco also manufactured a portable minature record player to play the flexis, the Minature Radio Phonograph or Mini Radio Phono as it was known. The 2-speed units were also capable of playing 7'' and 12'' records. Needless to say the Hip-Pocket records never really took off and the series was abandoned after the HP-41, but the concept of making record collections portable would stay alive. My own copy of The Letter by The Box Tops has actually lasted really well considering its age, is still playable and sounds pretty damn good. Check out one person's great Hip-Pocket collection below.