For those like this old reporter who was born after the introduction of the digital compact disc and portable music player, the 45 R-P-M record with its small size and large center hole was a kind of a trip back in time.
We saw them as kids and we heard our parents playing them on their record players. But by the time we grew up the only place you could find them was at the local swap meet or on eBay.
Up until the introduction of the C-D the 45 rpm record was the mainstay of delivering popular music to an entertainment hungry world. Only 7 inches in diameter, the disc spun at 45 revolutions per minute and was designed to hold two songs. One on each side of the disc.
I'm told that the best part of the 45 was its extreme light weight and durability. Unlike the older 78 R-P-M discs which would shatter if dropped, a 45 might get a scratch but could continue to be played with the added annoyance of some clicks and pops from the scratch. This made it an ideal and inexpensive format of that era for providing recorded music to teens and pre-teens of the mid to late 20th century. Thatís because most 45's sold for less than a dollar. I recall getting most of mine for 55 cents at Seligman's Record Shop in Toledo OH
As a historic note, the first 45 rpm disc was "Texarkana Baby" recorded by country singer Eddy Arnold. It was released by RCA on March 31, 1949.
But the entertainer who likely benefited most from the 45 was likely the man they called the "King of Rock and Roll," Elvis Presley. He sold millions of records during his career and made the 45 R-P-M record a household word among teens.
So a happy birthday to the good old 45.
I have the feeling that mom and dad kind of miss having you around.