The 45 just turned 70 years old … I remember when we first met.
The 7-inch 45 rpm record was released 31 March 1949 by RCA Victor as a smaller, more durable and higher-fidelity replacement for the 78 rpm shellac discs. My Dad had a collection of 78 rpm Jazz records. They were crazy hard and broke so easily (I may or may have not broken a few as a child.) He also had Elvis Presley singing Blue Moon on 78 rpm … I do remember playing that on his old wooden record player.
The first 45 rpm records were monaural, with recordings on both sides of the disc. The first regular production 45 rpm record pressed was “PeeWee the Piccolo” RCA Victor 47-0146 pressed 7 December 1948 at the Sherman Avenue plant in Indianapolis. My first 45 was different though. I remember vividly going in to the store with my Dad and there was a wall of 45’s. It was the Top 20 records on the charts and each record cost 50p – which could have bought me a pretty large bag of sweets (candy) – so this was a serious decision. The 45 I bought was a song that was rising up the chart and getting a lot of play on the radio by a band called Ian Dury and the Blockheads. It was called Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick but sadly I don’t own it anymore. The picture above is the strange collection of 45’s I found in the basement. There are some odd ones in there for sure. (I am most proud of the two shown below … Star Wars and Mah-na Mah-na (by Animal from the Muppets) Not sure why I kept some 45’s and not others and I haven’t played any of them in decades but I am glad I have them.
Happy 70th old friend!