DigitalDreamDoor.com

  Custom Search of DDD
 Home
 Music Lists
 Music Forum
 Rock Timeline
 Rap Timeline
 Vinyl Records
 Artist News
 Music Links
 SpotLight
 Foundations
 Musician Finder
 Guitar Chords
 Movie Lists
 Jokes & Quotes
 Music Store
facebook
Ask "Mr. Music"
November 21, 2011
"Attempt to eliminate all record speeds except 33"
Let's continue our feature here at DigitalDreamDoor: Ask "Mr. Music." Now in its 25th year of syndication (1986-2011), Jerry Osborne's weekly Q&A feature will be a regular post every Wednesday from now on.

Be sure to stop by Jerry's site www.jerryosborne.com for more Mr. Music archives, record price guides, anything Elvis, buy & sell collectibles, record appraisals and much more. I thank Jerry for allowing the reprints.

songsMore Mr. Music Articles

Ask "Mr. Music"
"Jerry Osborne"
November 21, 2011 - "Attempt to eliminate all record speeds except 33"


DEAR JERRY:

Your coverage of the invention of the LP (Columbia, 1948) and then the 45 rpm (RCA Victor, 1949) reminds me of an attempt in the late 1950s or early '60s to eliminate all speeds except 33.

They succeeded with the 78, but the 45 obviously lived on.

What do you know about this bold maneuver?

- Lawrence Finnegan, Terre Haute, Ind.


DEAR LAWRENCE:

By 1965, when support of a "one-speed industry" peaked, the 78 format was long gone.

The phasing out, in the late 1950s, of the 78 single had nothing to do with the industry's desire for a one-speed world, and much to do with production logistics; increased handling, packing, and shipping costs; and far greater losses due to breakage of the fragile 78s, when compared to the 45 single.

The sole objective of the mid-'60s campaign was the elimination of the 45 rpm.

Considering the overwhelming support behind the one-speed campaign, it's hard to believe they were not successful.

During what was at the time the record industry's top news story, here are just a few of the comments made by prominent executives and widely quoted in trade publications:

"Our company sold 60,000 of a 33 single at the [1964] New York World's Fair, without a single complaint. It's time our industry converts to one speed, and that's 33."
-Jimmy Johnson, Disneyland Records

"I'm in hearty accord with the theory of one speed [for all records]... I definitely think it would be better for all concerned to adopt the 33 speed. Dot Records supports the elimination of the 45 rpm. It's an educational process which has to be accomplished."
-Randy Wood, Dot Records

"We've been in favor of one speed for years, but it's a tough thing to get done. It could be accomplished in one year if all the majors [labels] and several of the independents would agree. There is no need for the 45. It is senseless."
-Mike Maitland, Warner Bros. Records

"There is no good reason for multiple speeds. The LP speed [33] is the one with the greatest growth potential. Having one speed would also reduce confusion."
-Irwin Steinberg, Mercury Records

"We agree, it makes all the sense in the world to have just one speed. It is ridiculous to have both 45 and 33 speeds." Referring to the late '40s format battle between RCA Victor (45s) and Columbia (33s), "You can't deny that 33 has taken over. Now, it shouldn't be too difficult to get RCA to get in step with the rest of the industry."
-Mo Ostin, Reprise Records

"We are very much in favor of the idea and always have been. There should be an industry move to just one speed. The biggest complication is the millions of homes with equipment that cannot play singles with a small, LP-size [quarter-inch], hole. There's no doubt that one speed is a great idea, and the only way to accomplish it would be joint action by all the manufacturers to cease issuing 45 singles. To simultaneously release 33 and 45 singles only creates a third inventory category rather than narrowing a two inventory situation down to one."
-Alan Livingston and Stan Gortikov, Capitol Records

"We favor a single speed, which would be good for the industry throughout the world. I don't think it would affect the cost of records very much, though it might affect the price of record players. Still, one speed will be difficult to institute because the two-speed situation has now become a habit."
-Georges Meyer, Philips Records

"There is no reason for two speeds, and never has been. Our company would support an industry drive to eliminate the 45 speed, though convincing record retailers and juke box operators could be a very slow process."
-Al Bennett, Liberty Records

"A single speed is ideal for the coin machine industry, and 33 is the only speed that makes sense. Most 45-only machines are old now and approaching the junking age."
-A.D. Plamer, Wurlitzer

"I would love to see all records on 33. It would cut down on our inventory, which is now double having to stock both 33 and 45 speeds. Stereo is gaining momemtum every week. I feel in the future there won't be anything but stereo."
-Harry Rosen, Philadelphia Rowe-AMI Juke Box Distributor

"One speed is a good idea, which we could support. However, there is a negative aspect because of the many machines specifically designed to play 45s."
-Orris Keepnews, Merchandising Manager, Colpix Records

"We favor having all records play at 33, one reason being that the spindle adapter to play 45s is a real annoyance. Columbia once hoped everything would play at 33, but now it may be too late to change people's indifferent attitudes."
-Abe Diamond, Record Distributor

"There's nothing we'd like better. The cost differential would be minimal but the performance of the players would be improved. One of the biggest sources of customer complaints is with the 45 adapter."
-Carl Gates, Admiral

"We'll produce whatever the public wants. A one-speed player would give better performance; however, it would be only slightly cheaper. In manufacturing, when you add it costs a lot, but when you take away you don't save much."
-Phil Wood, Zenith

"We have no objections at all. The problem lies with the equipment, but the benefits will be large if we can all travel down the same road together."
-Jack Burgess, RCA Records

"If we eliminated the 45 speed on our changers, we would surely have some disgruntled buyers."
-Richard Hanselman, RCA Consumer Products

"One speed could broaden the market for singles. Consumer education is the difficult part, the equipment is not the problem to worry about."
-Bill Gallagher, Columbia Records

"An overwhelming majority of record executives are of the opinion that the conversion to one speed would benefit the entire industry. Billboard reiterates its position, that in the face of such strong opinion in favor of a one-speed industry, the RIAA should move quickly to implement it."
-Billboard Editorial

With an avalanche of support for one speed (33) from literally every faction of the music industry, it appeared "the little record with the big hole" (45) would soon go the way of the 78 speed.

But the record-buying public could not be swayed, and, against all odds, the underdog 45 not only survived but triumphed as the dominant speed for singles during the vinyl era.

For me, of all the one-speed discussion, one moment of wishful thinking, mentioned only as an aside, stands out: While offering support to the movement, Kris Jensen, a leading maker of phonograph needles, casually made a wish.

In March 1965, Jensen expressed hope there would "one day be a practical device that will select and play an individual song or track from an album."

It took a little over 15 years, but with the laser compact disc came the technology to do exactly that.




IZ ZAT SO?

Conspicuously absent from all of the comments made by all of the label heads quoted is that most of them had recently produced and promoted 33 speed singles, none of which even made a dent in 45 sales.

For four years (1959-1962) most of the majors simultaneously issued 45 and 33 speed singles, especially for their big hits and top artists.

Losing that challenge by a landslide still didn't dissuade the one-speeders from trying again just a couple of years later.


MORE: Ask "Mr. Music" -
Opening chord on "A Hard Day's Night" and "X" recording artists
"Eda Weda Bug", and One-Christmas-hit wonders
First rock No. 1 albums - Original Christmas songs
Unknown first labels of hit songs, and values
Frankie Avalon and Bobby Vinton
Attempt to eliminate all record speeds except 33
"Unidentified performers", "Columbia Records"
"State Songs"
Summertime Lovin', Little Joe the Wrangler
The end of 78s, the beginning of the LP format
Music hit-makers that resorted to suicide
Most singles without a best seller, plus Tony Bennett is back on the charts
Three-inch CD mini single - No. 1 albums with no previous chart singles
B-side mix up, Dotty Daniels, and Paul Revere and the Raiders
Sales records, Jimmie Rodgers Blues, and Pic-Discs
I've Been Everywhere, and Sioux City Sue
It's G/B for me. Plus 3 record sets
Top singles artist who never had a charted album
Grammy Awards, 1950s and '60s acts
Dotty Daniels and D. Goodman
The many versions of "Open the Door, Richard" continued
The many versions of "Open the Door, Richard"
"Simon and Garfunkel earlier singles
"Ahab, the Arab" by Ray Stevens
"Longest note held by a solo female singer"
"More about The You Know Who Group"
"Nina Simone - biggest hits and controversial songs"
"No. 1 Instrumentals"
"The Ballad of Paladin by Johnny Western"
"Who had the greatest number of albums on the charts"
"Roses Are Red My Love by The You Know Who Group"
"Most popular American Idol contestants"
"Elvis lowest and highest notes - New albums from accomplished artists"
"Date Bait" & "Mummenschanz"
"Gibberish lyrics, and Maggie Flynn"
"R&B and C&W Crossovers, plus '60s Grammys picks"
"Overused song titles and comical oldies"
"The mysterious death of teen idol Dean Reed"
"Manhattan by Dinah Washington - Got a Match? by the Daddy-O's"
"Katherine Hepburn Speaking for Freedom 78 rpm"
"The Ballad of Ronnie - and Mildred Bailey"
"Osmonds and Jacksons - I'll Cry Instead: Beatles"
"Frim Fram Sauce, and the Beatles Maggie Mae"
"Quadraphonic albums"
"George Michael's soul success with "Faith"
"Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious"
"A Bunch of Queers Presents Warlock"
"Has there ever been a commercial 78 rpm recorded in stereo?"
"River Nile" by "LEROY and His Rockin' Fellers"
Patsy Montana's "I Wanna Be a Cowboy's Sweetheart"
"Diana Krall song & Susan Boyles' career"
"Songs: Just for a Thrill, and Cool Yule"
"Number 1 Christmas Songs through the years"
"Song in VW commercial, and Jerry Lee Lewis Christmas song"
"Shake, Rattle and Roll", plus Pete Best album "Haymans Green"
"Single releases originally issued with picture sleeves"
"Ronnie Dawson - Hazel"
"Curtis Mayfield - accident, album, death"
"Who was the Masked Marvel"
"Davy Jones Presents, record label"
"Al Green & Johnny Nash"
"Tamouré, Tahitian dance"
"Jo Ann Campbell - Wolverton Mountain"
"Whole Lot of Shakin' Going On & Highway Man"
"Hawaiian musics Frank Ferera"
"Paul Revere and the Raiders instrumentals & Song from Hair"
"Beatles 14 tunes in the Top 100, & The last mono-only albums"
"Connie Francis early years, and Names of states in hit titles"
"Gene Pitney, and David Janssen"
"Payola scandals, and Chubby Checker dance hits"
"Why vinyl sounds richer, Elvis and Beatles on Cash Box, Big Bad John answer songs"
"Vinyl Record Day - 'Mad Men' song"
"Cast Your Fate to the Wind, two versions"
"RFD Songs" and "Your Hit Parade"
"Hit Songs as both Vocal and Instrumental"
"Robert David Hall of CSI, plus the Belmonts without Dion"
"Cal Stewart's Uncle Josh Songs, & Andrews Sisters"
"The Collector's Edition T.A.M.I. Show"
"The Girl from the Next Farm Over" & "Tangerine Dream"
"Paul & Paula's "Hey Paula"
"'50s Rockers Ages" - "Songwriters Hall of Fame"
"Lyrics or Music" and "Billy Squier"
"Connie Francis, Neil Diamond, and David Gates"
"The High Numbers and Grading Vinyl"
"Louie Louie"
"Willie Nelson duets"
"Don't Do It" by "Little Charlie and the Nightcats"
"Frank Sinatra Spectacular, with Johnny Carson"
"Sam & Dave Medley" and the knife in "Moody River"
"Love Will Keep Us Together" and "Same Old Fool"
"Tony Orlando or Bertell Dache?"
"Foreign language hit songs in the U.S."
"The Overlanders" and "All-male Top 10"
"Songs with a bullet" and the name "Browning"
"Yesterday and Today, Beatles - Song: Submarine Race"
"Elvis Presley songs based on classical pieces."
"Introducing the Beatles" album value
"Answer Songs"
"Tchaikovsky's "Pathetique" & "I Belong to You" by Peggy Lee
"A Lovers Hymn" and Songs naming the 12 months
"This Old House," by Rosemary Clooney
"The Beverly Hillbillies" and "Petticoat Junction"
"Deana Martin", "Buchanan and Goodman"
"A Hard Day's Night" - Beatles
"British Christmas tunes" and "Fingertips Part 1"
"Backward tape technology" and "Rock Era Christmas tunes"
"Red Velvet Slippers" and "A Christmas Gift for You"
"Jerry Lee Lewis" and "See See Rider"
"Bonanza Theme Song"
"Come Softly to Me" by the Fleetwoods

Mr. Music
Jerry Osborne answers as many questions as possible through this column.
Jerry's Question page: Ask your question here.

Write Jerry at: Box 255, Port Townsend, WA 98368
E-mail: jpo@olympus.net
Visit his Web site: www.jerryosborne.com.

All values quoted in this column are for near-mint condition.

Copyright 2011 Osborne Enterprises- Reprinted By Permission






1000 Songs Every Rock Fan Should Know
500 Greatest Popular Recordings Of All Time
Greatest Rock Songs
Greatest Rock Ballads
Greatest Rock Anthems
Greatest Rock Instrumentals
Greatest Rock Debut Singles
Greatest Cover Songs
Top 10 Songs by Popular Rock Artists
Top 10 Songs 1950-1969
Top 10 Songs 1970-1979
Top 10 Songs 1980-1989
Top 10 Songs 1990-1999
Greatest 'Roots of Rock' Songs '40s  
Greatest Rock Songs '50s
Greatest Rock Songs '60s
Greatest Rock Songs '70s
Greatest Rock Songs '80s
Greatest Rock Songs '90s
Greatest Rock Songs '00s
Greatest Rockabilly Songs
Greatest Girl Group Songs
Greatest Country Rock Songs
Greatest Southern Rock Songs
Greatest Folk Rock Songs
Greatest Surf Rock Songs
Greatest Beach Music Songs
Greatest Psychedelic Songs
Greatest Punk Rock Songs
Greatest New Wave Songs
Greatest Fusion Songs
Greatest Acoustic Guitar Instrumentals
Greatest R&B/Soul Songs
Greatest R&B/Soul Ballads
Greatest R&B Songs of the '90s
Greatest R&B Ballads of the '90s
Greatest Funk Songs
Greatest Motown Songs
Greatest Northern Soul Songs
Greatest Uptempo Doo-Wop Songs
Greatest Doo-Wop Ballads
Greatest Rap/Hip-Hop Songs
Greatest Old School Hip Hop Records
Greatest Metal Songs
Greatest Thrash Metal Songs
Greatest Glam Metal Songs
Greatest Symphonic Power Metal Songs
Greatest Disco Songs
Greatest Dance Songs '80s
Greatest Dance Songs '90s
Greatest Trance Songs
Greatest Electro Songs
Greatest Freestyle Songs
Greatest House Songs
Greatest Miami Bass Songs
Greatest Latin Rock Songs
Greatest Reggae Songs
Greatest Blues Instrumentals
Greatest Novelty Songs
Wildest, Craziest & Quirkiest Songs
Greatest Summer Songs
Greatest Love Songs
Greatest Mother Songs
Greatest Father Songs
1950
1951
1952
1953
1954
1955
1956
1957
1958
1959
1960
1961
1962
1963
1964
1965
1966
1967
1968
1969
1970
1971
1972
1973
1974
1975
1976
1977
1978
1979
1980
1981
1982
1983
1984
1985
- - For Links to - -
Blues, Jazz, Country, Folk, Classical, and more,
Click
'Main Music Page' below.


DigitalDreamDoor.com is to be used for
entertainment, educational, or research purposes only.

Copyright © 2011 - DigitalDreamDoor.com

All photos are property and copyright of their owners and are provided for educational purposes only.
This Ask "Mr. Music" page is only a part of DigitalDreamDoor.com. To view the Home page click
DigitalDreamDoor.com Home