THE BRITISH LIBRARY

Sound and vision blog

2 posts from June 2008

20 June 2008

The Longest Day (at 33-1/3 rpm)

21 June 2008 marks the sixtieth anniversary of the commercial LP.  The first vinyl long players were unveiled by Columbia Records at the Waldorf Astoria in New York in 1948.  Columbia chose to launch the LP on the longest day of the year because length was seen as the LP's most obviously saleable improvement over its predecessors.  To prove the point, the first 10-inch LP was a reissue of The Voice of Frank Sinatra, the singer's first record, which had previously only available across four 78rpm shellac discs (one song per side, totalling 24 minutes).

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16 June 2008

Recording of the Month Competition

Win a £20 book token in our new Recording of the Month competition. To nominate your favourite recording, send an email to asr@bl.uk with a link to the recording and 50 words on why you love it. One recording will be selected every month and feature on the project blog. 

To get the ball rolling, my personal favourite is comedian Peter Cook debating the nature of the devil with Rector Joseph McCulloch, from the St Mary le Bow Public Debates. Although on the surface this is a debate between an establishment religious figure and anti-establishment comedian, it is conducted with such great tolerance, humour and open-mindedness by both parties that sometimes it is hard to tell them apart. I thought McCulloch's assertion that Jesus never wanted people to be 'good' a delightful insight.

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