Pat Boone was the second biggest rock 'n' roll hit-maker of the 1950s after Elvis Presley and, like Elvis, his name and image were heavily merchandised on items such as this late 1950s Teen Tote record holder, which was manufactured by Aristocrat Leather Products, Inc., of New York.
Aristocrat began using the "Teen Tote" brand name in 1957 for "purses, wallets, pocketbooks and ladies handbags." I suppose that this record holder falls under the definition of "wallet," like the CD wallets that became common decades later. But Aristocrat also made wallets—the kind you keep your money in—with this same Pat Boone design.
The Pat Boone Teen Tote held fourteen 7" 45 RPM records in paper sleeves and included a blank index so that teens could write down which records were stored inside.
The numbered index provided fields for not only the title and artist of each record but also the record company's catalog number, which I'm guessing is something that few teens had previously given much thought to. But it could be fun to meticulously document a growing collection with such attention to detail, right?
Pat, it's worth mentioning, charted almost 40 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 from 1955-59, but so many of them were double-sided hits that teens would need to buy only two Pat Boone Teen Totes to hold all his hit records through the end of that decade.
A similar tote from approximately the same time that seems to be more common, perhaps because it didn't have a licensed image, is the Ponytail® Tune Tote® by Standard Products of Plainsfield, New Jersey. With 14 paper sleeves and an index, it was nearly identical to the Pat Boone tote but featured a generic image of music-loving teens and the "Tune Tote" brand on the front instead of Pat's recognizable face and name. The Tune Tote was available in several different colors and designs.
|The competitor: Tune Tote|
|Tune Tote box|
Despite their limited capacity, these record totes were a much better storage solution for 45s than those awful metal racks that many people kept their records in without even the protection of a paper sleeve.
|Wire record rack|