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The first long play album ever released

GUEST,Larry Saidman 08 Apr 13 - 05:04 PM
pdq 08 Apr 13 - 06:46 PM
Mark Ross 08 Apr 13 - 10:18 PM
GUEST,Larry Saidman 09 Apr 13 - 12:05 AM
pdq 09 Apr 13 - 10:57 AM
pdq 09 Apr 13 - 11:12 AM
GUEST,Larry Saidman 09 Apr 13 - 12:24 PM
pdq 09 Apr 13 - 12:37 PM
GUEST,Larry Saidman 09 Apr 13 - 02:17 PM
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Subject: The first long play album ever released
From: GUEST,Larry Saidman
Date: 08 Apr 13 - 05:04 PM

Hello people,

As I mentioned to some of you, I'm in the process of putting together a radio program for Peach City Radio in Penticton (a group attempting to start a community radio station....see peachcityradio.org) called "Larry Saidman's Top 200 Albums of All Time".   Rather than an ego trip, it's just me finding an opportunity to play some of the records I've come to love over my many years of listening.

I want to start by talking about the history of the 'album' and I've done some research....but there seems a debate about whether Columbia 4001 (classical) or 6001 (popular) was released first. Also, I went into a used record store (Remember Vinyl) to see if I could find Columbia 4001 (Nathan Milstein and Bruno Walter w. Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto)and the owner was in the process of reading a book on the history of recording (forget the author, sorry), and she pointed out that it was claiming that the first 33 1/3 album was an RCA Victor lp (also Bruno Walter) of a Tchaikowsky symphony.

I'd be interested if any of you have done any other research and can clarify it.

Here's part of my script from the first show.

Feel free to correct any other inaccuracies you might pick up.

-Larry


The first album was believed to be in 1908 when Deutsch Grammophon records released a number of 78rpm discs of Bizet's opera, Carmen. A year later, Odeon records released 4 discs of Tchaikowsky's The NutCracker Suite.   But other than for classical music, it didn't catch on until the 1930's.

That's when record companies began issuing collections of 78's by one performer or of one type of music in specially assembled albums, typically with artwork on the front cover and liner notes on the back or inside cover. Most albums included 3 or 4 records, with 2 sides each

So what do you think was the very first lp or long play album ever released?

RCA Victor tried cutting some 33 1/3 records in the early 30's, but they didn't sound particularly good and could only get about 10 minutes worth of music….so they were quickly withdrawn.   

Although some sources disagree, it appears as if the first 12" longplay record was released June 21, 1948, and it was Mendlessohn's Violin Concerto in E minor.one of my favourite compositions….with Nathan Milstein on violin, and Bruno Walter conducting the Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra of New York.   It was on the blue Columbia label. Columbia ML-4001.   Let me play an excerpt from that record.


-but shortly before that a 4 disc 78rpm set from 1946 called "The voice of Frank Sinatra" was re-released on a 10" lp also in 1948.   The date of release is in question….one source says July 28, 1948---which would be a week after the Nathan Milstein. Another source claims it was released before the Milstein work that I just played an excerpt of.

But, without a doubt, it was the first non-classical lp release.


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Subject: RE: The first long play album ever released
From: pdq
Date: 08 Apr 13 - 06:46 PM

I find the 21 JUN 1948 date comes from many sources and my be correct.

Columbia released many LPs at the same exact time giving the an entire catalogue to choose from.

The fact that the Sinatra LP has the first number in that series and the Bruno Walter disc has the lowest number in their Classic catalogue means that the numbers were chosen that way.

The history of recording is really fascinating.

33 1/3 rpm and "microgroove" stylus were both tried by other companies many years earlier, but the combination of the two, as done by Columbia in 1948, stuck.


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Subject: RE: The first long play album ever released
From: Mark Ross
Date: 08 Apr 13 - 10:18 PM

Columbia developed the LP. I think RCA was betting on the 45.

Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: The first long play album ever released
From: GUEST,Larry Saidman
Date: 09 Apr 13 - 12:05 AM

I know Columbia developed the technology.   I'll try get a reference for the name of that book that claimed the first lp was on RCA.


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Subject: RE: The first long play album ever released
From: pdq
Date: 09 Apr 13 - 10:57 AM

"RCA Victor tried cutting some 33 1/3 records in the early 30's, but they didn't sound particularly good and could only get about 10 minutes worth of music….so they were quickly withdrawn." ~ OP


You already mention that. Trouble was, not all the parts fit at that time and it flopped.

The first modern LP was announced to the public on either June 20 or 21, 1948 and was exclusive to Columbia.

David Sarnoff of RCA was shown the final product before the public. Thomas Paley of CBS expected Sarnoff to be impressed and sign a licencing agreement and start their own line of LP records on friendly terms.

Instead, Sarnoff thought that Paley was rubbing his nose in it. He left angry and immediatley started his own LP developement unit. It took two years to catch up.

BTW, the term Long Player or LP was copyrighted by Columbia but the production processes were not.


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Subject: RE: The first long play album ever released
From: pdq
Date: 09 Apr 13 - 11:12 AM

Thomas Paley William S. Paley


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Subject: RE: The first long play album ever released
From: GUEST,Larry Saidman
Date: 09 Apr 13 - 12:24 PM

Thanks PDQ. This is very helpful. It sounds like a fascinating history. Do you have a source where I could learn more?


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Subject: RE: The first long play album ever released
From: pdq
Date: 09 Apr 13 - 12:37 PM

Here is a good article by the head of Columbia Records under CBS...


                                                                   http://home.sprynet.com/~musicin/audiohistoryLP.html


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Subject: RE: The first long play album ever released
From: GUEST,Larry Saidman
Date: 09 Apr 13 - 02:17 PM

Thanks pdq. That's a great article. My guess is that the popular catalogue and the classical catalogue were 'released' at the same time.


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