Thursday, January 10, 2008

Happy Birthday (and R.I.P.) to the 45 RPM

Ok, some of my younger readers may not have ever seen one, but as a kid, I loved records.

Yes, records, vinyl, LP's, whatever terminology one wants to use.

What brings this up?

On this day in 1949, the 45 RPM was introduced.

How different would many a teenage life have been without the 45? They were cheap, they carried a hit on one side, and an occasional gem on the other. (Quick - what was the "B" side to Wipe Out?***)

They were a staple in my household. My parents had them, my older sister had them, and I, dear friends, was a record whore!

I remember the first one I ever purchased myself. 1971, Sunshine by Jonathan Edwards. I had to play it when my parents weren't around because it had a "bad word" in it. ( Of course, a few years later when I had my KISS phase, they actually had the preacher come and talk to me and pray over me because everybody knew KISS stood for Kings In Satan's Service, but that's another post.)

Vinyl albums, (LP's) became my obsession around the 7th grade, but before then it was all about the 45's.

So what are your 45 memories? Have a favorite "B" side? (Mine is Hey Hey What Can I Do? - "B" side of Immigrant Song.)

Enjoy this blast from Brave Sir Robin's Childhood:

*** Surfer Joe


GourmetGoddess said...

This song has been in some commercial recently, and it was also mentioned as a "feel good" song on the radio. I was like WTF? Have you ever really listened to it?

Brave Sir Robin said...

Hey, I was 9 years old.

I guess it's a protest song?

Anne said...

I'm kind of fascinated by records, having never actually (confession time) used a record player myself. My parents had (have?) one, but by the time I was old enough to be proactive about what music I was listening to, cds were taking over. At some point I'd love to buy a good record player and some great speakers, and start building a fantastic collection of classical records, but that's going to have to wait a while.

Brave Sir Robin said...

CD's were great when they first came out, but nowadays they screw up the engineering to make everything louder.

(There are some excellent articles out there on this phenomenon)

Vinyl had a rich warm sound that is starting to disappear with CD / mp3.

I have a large vinyl LP collection, but alas, no player. Mine gave out several years ago.

The Red Queen said...

I had a whole box of 45's from way back when i was a kid. One I had was of the Clemson pineapple song. another was about the bloody red baron (I was a very small child, these may be made up names for all i know).

Anne said...

Exactly, I've been told several times that things sound much better on vinyl. In my high school music history class, the teacher insisted on using the record player instead of the tape deck or cd player. The Allegri Miserere Mei Deus is even more gorgeous on vinyl.

Brave Sir Robin said...

the bloody red baron

I'm betting that was Snoopy Vs. The Red Baron

I had that when I was a kid, but I don't remember where it came from.

:) :)

Brave Sir Robin said...

Anne -

Are you a singer or musician?

I was a (pretty good)trumpet player back in the day, in fact, I almost majored in music.

Allegri Miserere Mei Deus - I don't know that piece, I'm not very knowledgeable about choral pieces.

I do, however, like opera, and I love this piece.

Anne said...

I'm neither, really, but I play piano reasonably well: Brahms, Bach, Rachmaninov, etc., but I wouldn't say I'm a 'musician.' After years and years of playing classical music (or what passes for it when you're four or five and have tiny hands), I finally started listening to the stuff in 9th grade.

Which is not to say that I don't have a lot to learn--I'm not very familiar with Beethoven's masses. But I've just downloaded the C Major one from Deutsche Grammophon (not vinyl, but it'll do for now), and I'm already a fan. I love masses. Josquin Des Prez's Missa Pange Lingua is also very good, and of course there's Mozart's Requiem. Not all his own, but whatever, it's good.

I have a couple of recordings of the Miserere: one from King's College Choir, Cambridge, and one from New College Choir, Oxford. The former is supposed to be legendary, but I'm sort of partial to the latter. It's the one I heard first, and it has a fuller, warmer sound. And it's actually in the original Latin, which the King's College one, inexplicably, is not. If you like, I can look into putting it online (at nearly 14 MB, it probably wouldn't email well).

Brave Sir Robin said...


I'd like to hear it.