33 & 1/3 Revolutions Per Minute
Do you remember what LP stands for? I am not referring to Limited Partnership. I mean a predecessor of the compact disc, the long-playing 12-inch vinyl phonographic disc that spun around at 33 & 1/3 revolutions per minute.
This new format was introduced by a Columbia Records employee named Edward Wallerstein on June 20, 1948 in New York. In the 1930s, people listened to the heavy, 78-rpm albums which only played 4 minutes of music per side. The goal of Columbia Records was to fit entire classical music works on a single record with better sound quality than the older version.
The Mendelssohn Violin Concerto, with Nathan Milstein as soloist, Bruno Walter conductor and the New York Philharmonic, was the first work to appear. A year later, Richard Rodgers' South Pacific starring Mary Martin and Ezio Pinza became a best-seller.
By 1951, the 78-rpm record was a distant memory.