February 1, 1949

February1Today in 1949, RCA Victor introduced the 45 rpm record.

The record was intended to rival Columbia’s long-playing 33 1/3 rpm disc, which was released the year before. Both technologies worked together to replace 78 rpm records, causing a drop in record sales.

By the end of the year, all record-producing companies – except RCA – were committed to LPs.

However, RCA refused to give up. They spent $5 million publicizing the 45 rpm. That move eventually turned a leaf. By 1954, more than 200 million 45s had been sold, leading all major companies to produce both LPs and 45s.

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