45 Day is on May 4 — an annual tribute to the classic vinyl format that helped bring music to the masses. If you are a music enthusiast and tend to dream of eras gone by, 45 Day will speak to your soul. Before mp3 players, walkmans, and Discmans, the world had the 45 R.P.M. vinyl — a revolutionary music format that changed how people listened to music. Although the world has increasingly turned digital, the beloved 7″ record still has a dedicated fan base across borders. Many believe that the 45 R.P.M. is witnessing a renaissance. Vinyl lovers and collectors are growing in number. Artists are releasing singles on the 45 again. 45 Day celebrates the classic record and aims to promote record sales and stores.
History of 45 Day
Created by Christos Christou, the first 45 Day was celebrated in 2020 at the height of the pandemic. The event happened completely online, featuring 52 D.J. mixes and a two-hour live-streamed radio show. Several prominent artists today are releasing singles and albums on vinyl again. The classic 45 still carves its space in a digital world — a testament to its greatness.
The origins of the 45-vinyl go back to the late 1940s. Record sales during the time were excellent. But as for the records themselves? The quality was not stellar. Despite advancements in recording technology, records still rotated at 78 RPM. In addition, records were fragile, thin, and noisy, defeating the purpose of listening to music entirely. Columbia Records decided to do something about it. In 1948, it launched the 33 1/3 R.P.M. — a long-playing record (20 minutes per side) made of thicker, much quieter vinyl. Not to be outdone by its rival, R.C.A. Victor unveiled a new project a year later — the 45 R.P.M. record that forever changed the course of music history.
The R.C.A. seven-inch 45 R.P.M. was instantly popular with fans and industry professionals. It was small and cute. Each music genre had its own vinyl color, making the 45 a hit with the younger, hip crowd. This is not to say that the 45 did not have its set of challenges. R.C.A. 45 players could only play 45 R.P.M. records and no other formats. The 45 also came with mid-movement breaks — a long-running problem for classical music fans.
Slowly but surely, the 45 replaced the 78 R.P.M. in the ‘50s, and the vinyl became a part of everyone’s lives. You could take your music anywhere with battery-operated phonographs. Kids even traded 45s instead of baseball cards. The records were fun and cheap at less than a dollar each. The era of the 45 lasted about 40 years — before the arrival of cassette tapes, C.D.s, and MP3 players.
45 Day timeline
R.C.A. Victor launches the revolutionary 45 R.P.M.
Every genre gets a vinyl color — green for country releases, red vinyl for classical, orange for R&B and Gospel, blue for semi-classical, and black label for international recordings.
Bel Canto Records introduces the first Stereo 45 R.P.M. record.
America commercially releases the last 78 R.P.M. singles and makes way for the dawn of the 45 era.
45 Day FAQs
What is 45 Day?
45 Day, founded by Christos Christou, connects music lovers across borders. A day to celebrate music, musicians, and the stores that sell records — particularly the 45 R.P.M. records.
What is the thing in the middle of a 45-record called?
The 45-record has an adapter in the middle with 45 revolutions per minute. It is a plastic or metal piece that allows record playing on an L.P.-size spindle or a turntable’s 78 R.P.M.
Can I play a 45 on a regular record player?
The 45 adapter allows listeners to play singles on virtually any record player. You can snap the adapter into the center of the record and play it on a turntable spindle without additional tools.
45 Day Activities
Pick up some 45s
Today’s perfect for a visit to the nearest record store. Buy some new 45s on vinyl or a record you have been eyeing for a while. Go back home, spin the circle, and indulge your ears!
Listen to the online shows and streams
Enjoy the 45 Day radio show or tune in to the live stream. Since everything’s online, anyone anywhere can participate.
Take part in the events
If you are a musician or a D.J., consider submitting your mixes to be included on the official 45 Day website. You could also play 45s at live or virtual events.
5 Interesting Facts About Vinyl
Across the universe
The Golden Record boarding the Voyager One and Two spacecraft is presently over 15 billion miles away from earth.
The most expensive vinyl record
The Wu-Tang Clan made only one copy of their seventh studio album, “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin,” which was sold for $2 million at an auction.
The first 12-inch vinyl
The world’s first 12-inch vinyl record was the Philadelphia Orchestra playing Beethoven’s ‘Symphony No. 5 in C Minor.’
The world’s largest vinyl collection
Brazilian businessman José Roberto Alves Freitas has more than six million vinyl records and is known to buy entire vinyl collections from everywhere.
45 R.P.M. has the best sound
Since 45 R.P.M. records travel faster, it means better audio quality than 33 1/3 R.P.M.
Why We Love 45 Day
A classic endures
Great things transcend time. The growth of vinyl despite the ease of digital streaming is strong proof.
it makes us appreciate music
Vinyl transports us to the good old days. 45 Day reminds us that listening to music could be purposeful, not just set as background music while we work.
A day for 45 fans to connect
There is not a lot that dismantles barriers and connects people the way music does. 45 Day brings together music lovers from everywhere to share their love for the classic record.
45 Day dates