Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Seven-Inch-Vinyl? / What's it mean?

I suppose sometimes an author's ego makes him assume "everyone knows" what the title of his book means. Guilty as charged here. So, for those who don't know what the title represents, here it is:

"Seven-Inch-Vinyl" refers to the diameter of a 45-RPM vinyl record. Prior to 1930 all phonograph records were made of shellac, a brittle material which broke easily. In 1930 RCA VICTOR started producing vinyl records that were 12 inches in diameter and played back at 33 1/3 RPM (revolutions per minute). Vinyl records produced better sound quality and less noise than shellac. However, since this was during The Great Depression and playback equipment was very expensive, vinyl records never caught on.

During World War II, the supply of shellac became scarce and COLUMBIA RECORDS entered the game and manufactured vinyl records for our troops abroad. These records were also 12 inches in diameter and contained only six minutes of music.

Between 1948 and 1950, a so-called "war of the speeds" ensued. Columbia proved to be the victor (pardon the pun) when they developed the 45-RPM record. By 1951, the 45 became the dominant form for single records and the 12-inch record at 33 1/3 RPM's the standard for full albums.

The 45's were smaller, less expensive and quite durable. Just the sort of thing teenagers would need to launch their very own brand of music called, "Rock and Roll."

Rock and Roll quote of the day: "My darlin' I need you. To have and hold and never do wrong. To hold in mine, your little hand. I know, too soon, that love is so grand." From: Little Darlin' BY: The Diamonds.


  1. I've heard of seven-inch-vinyl. I knew it was a record but I didn't know the story. Thanks.