Ongoing History of New Music

Ongoing History Daily: The last 78 RPM records

The 10-inch 78 RPM record was the currency of the music industry for over sixty years, starting with its introduction in 1887. But with the introduction of the 33 1/3 LP record in 1948 and the 7-inch single in 1948, it was pushed into extinction.

So here’s the question: What was the last-ever 78 RPM record released by a label? Well, it depends. The UK bailed after releasing an Elvis Presley single in 1960. In the US and Canada, boutique labels kept releasing 78s until at least 1962. But if you went further afield, you would have found brand new 78s being issued in South American countries as late as 1972.

So that’s it, right? Nope. In 2011, the Beach Boys released a special edition of “Good Vibrations” that had to be played at 78.

Yesterday’s post dealt with file-sharing in the olden days.

And don’t forget to check out my podcast The Ongoing History of New Music where you listen on SpotifyApple PodcastsGoogleStitcher, or wherever you get your on-demand audio.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 37808 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

One thought on “Ongoing History Daily: The last 78 RPM records

  • They’re still coming out, mainly through Record Store Days with the likes of Traffic Entertainment reissuings famous blues 78s, or most recently in October 2020 Palomar Records issued Alex Mendham doing Shake that Thing b/w One more time. Over in the UK, Kitty Daisy & Lewis have issued many 78s, including album sets, on their Sunday Best label up to 2015. My website has a link to a PDF recording those I am aware of since around 1970.


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