Long before MySpace, there were fan clubs. You could send a letter, maybe using a coupon in a teen magazine, to sign up. One benefit of signing up might be a free record.
They were usually flimsy discs about as thin as a magazine page. From 1963 to 1969, The Beatles sent a Christmas message to their fans on one of these flexidiscs. The idea came from Tony Barrow, a press officer for The Beatles, who thought it was a great way to deal with the thousands and thousands of pieces of mail the band would receive.
Listening to all the holiday messages, you can hear the arc of the band. This one, from 1968, marks the first time they did the messages separately. It also includes Paul McCartney's "Happy Christmas," John Lennon's "Jock and Yono" poem and Tiny Tim's rendition of "Nowhere Man."
What a hoot!