The 45 @ 65

Thursday 27 March



Sixty-five years ago RCA Victor launched a small, round, plastic green disc on to the listening public. Journalist David Quantick charts people's love affair with the 45 rpm single and examines one of the most important revolutions in the modern music business.

The single was always aimed at the younger generation, while the LP originally catered for a middle-aged, middle-class, well-heeled audience. The cheaper 45 took on the poorer, cooler youth market and spun with it. The vinyl single launched rock and roll, pop and the teenager on the world and provided a lynchpin for Western popular culture. It has defined the popular music of last 60 years and shows no signs of dying.

In the first programme, David looks at the war of the speeds and the early, glory days of the vinyl single, which pitted stars like Judy Garland up against Frank Sinatra and then brought audiences Elvis and Bill Haley. All this, set against a brave new world of cheap ‘portable’ record players, exotic new vinyl jukeboxes and the birth of the singles charts.

David also examines the early days of the charts, the effect the single had on that new phenomenon, the teenager, the power the TV Music shows had on the single and the cultural power of the 45, from the revolution of rock and roll to teeny and weeny boppers and glam rock’s children of the revolution.

The series features contributions from Tom Jones, actor Martin Freeman, Myleene Klass, songwriter Diane Warren, musician Soweto Kinch, Bob Stanley from Saint Etienne, Michael Bradley from The Undertones, the Reverend Run, DJ Cosmo, Pete Shelley from The Buzzcocks, Pete Waterman, as well as DJs including Mike Read, David Jensen, Johnnie Walker, Bob Harris and Neil Fox amongst others.

Presenter/ David Quantick, Producer/ Anna Harrison and Frank Stirling for Unique Broadcasting

BBC Radio 2 Publicity