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GUEST,Larry Saidman The first long play album ever released (20) The first long play album ever released 08 Apr 13

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 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.


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30's, but they didn't sound particularly good and could only get about 10 minutes worth of music….so they were quickly withdrawn.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 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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