January 10 – Finian’s Rainbow, the first 45’s, Stranglers


Stage musical Finian’s Rainbow opens in NYC’s 46th Street Theatre for 725 performances.

Plot? Finian moves from Ireland to the US to bury a pot of stolen gold near Fort Knox. He’s followed. How are things in Glocca Mora? 

Columbia Records makes an original cast recording to introduce its new LP format in June 1948. A film version directed by Francis Ford Coppola is released in 1968.


1949 RP-168 changer

RCA introduces the 45-rpm vinyl record (*) to compete with the 33-1/3 rpm ‘microgroove’ LP, intro’d the previous year by Columbia. (RCA had developed the 45 a decade earlier, but mothballed it.)

Wait, the sound is too soft, there it is, it’s a tube (valve) amplifier not solid-state, it needs to warm up. A few minutes later you detect the long forgotten smell of the electronics and the bakelite cabinet. Heat-resistant bakelite was used because the tubes created too much heat. (*)

The first 45 sold, on March 31, 1949, is Eddy Arnold’s ‘Texarkana Baby’. Until 1952, colored vinyl is used to identify genre! … yellow for children, green for C&W, etc. That would have made quite a mess of things these days, wouldn’t it?

Texarkana Baby

‘Go Ask Alice’ model

In the 60s, rock’n’roll hits, most sold ‘on 45’ singles, cost about 75 cents each (when the average hourly wage is about twice that), and can be played on the new portable phonograph (instead of mom’n’dad’s console phono).

Sales of 45s, ‘the gateway drug to LPs’, slowly taper as boomers grow up and switch to buying LPs. Until CD’s mature, 45’s remain popular for promos and releases by new bands.

▷45 rpm UK▹
▷How much are mine worth?▹  ~ DJ’s History of Vinyl 


1988 cover

Brit rockers The Stranglers release single Golden Brown in the UK; it climbs to UK#2.

The song is heard in the soundtrack of hit 2000 film Snatch#123. The versatile, talented band formed in 1974 playing pub rock as the Guildford Stranglers, started releasing punk rock in 1977 (e.g. Peaches ).

The band has continued to make multi-genre music, scoring over 20 UK top-40 singles and 17 top-40 albums.