The Single Story

Sixty years ago this year, RCA Victor launched a small, round, plastic and weirdly - green disc on the listening public, which heralded a revolution in popular music.

Initially the result of what we might now call an 'audio format war' between record companies, the single was always aimed at the younger generation. While the LP originally catered for a middle-aged, middle-class, well-heeled audience, the cheaper, cooler 45 took on the poorer, cooler youth market.

The vinyl single launched rock and roll, pop and the 'teenager' on the world and provided a lynchpin for Western popular culture. It has defined the popular music of last sixty years and shows no signs of dying.

David Quantick looks at the extraordinary impact the single has had on the way we've listened to music for the last sixty years. This is a chance to examine one of the most important revolutions in the modern music business.

Contributors include Tom Jones, actor Martin Freeman, Myleene Klass, songwriter Diane Warren, musician Soweto Kinch, Bob Stanley from St. Etienne, Michael Bradley from The Undertones, the Reverend Run, DJ Cosmo, Pete Shelley from The Buzzcocks, Pete Waterman, Mike Read, David Jensen, Johnnie Walker, Bob Harris and Neil Fox

Episodes

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012009031020130108 (6M)

Sixty years ago this year, RCA Victor launched a small, round, plastic and weirdly - green disc on the listening public, which heralded a revolution in popular music.

Initially the result of what we might now call an 'audio format war' between record companies, the single was always aimed at the younger generation. While the LP originally catered for a middle-aged, middle-class, well-heeled audience, the cheaper, cooler 45 took on the poorer, cooler youth market.

The vinyl single launched rock and roll, pop and the 'teenager' on the world and provided a lynchpin for Western popular culture. It has defined the popular music of last sixty years and shows no signs of dying.

David Quantick looks at the extraordinary impact the single has had on the way we've listened to music for the last sixty years. This is a chance to examine one of the most important revolutions in the modern music business.

Contributors include Tom Jones, actor Martin Freeman, Myleene Klass, songwriter Diane Warren, musician Soweto Kinch, Bob Stanley from St. Etienne, Michael Bradley from The Undertones, the Reverend Run, DJ Cosmo, Pete Shelley from The Buzzcocks, Pete Waterman, Mike Read, David Jensen, Johnnie Walker, Bob Harris and Neil FoxDavid Quantick charts our love affair with the 45 rpm single.

In 1949, RCA Victor launched a small, round, plastic and - weirdly - green disc on the listening public, which heralded a revolution in popular music. David Quantick charts our love affair with the 45 rpm single.

Initially the result of what we might now call an "audio format war" between record companies, the single was always aimed at the younger generation. While the LP originally catered for a middle-aged, middle-class, well-heeled audience, the cheaper, cooler 45 took on the poorer, cooler youth market. The vinyl single launched rock and roll, pop and the teenager on the world and provided a lynchpin for Western popular culture. It has defined the popular music and shows no signs of dying.

David Quantick looks at the extraordinary impact the single has had on the way we've listened to music for over 60 years. This is a chance to examine one of the most important revolutions in the modern music business.

In the first programme he looks at the war of the speeds and the early glory days of the vinyl single, which pitted stars like Judy Garland up against Frank Sinatra, then brought us Elvis and Bill Haley. All this set against a brave new world of cheap "portable" record players, exotic new vinyl juke boxes and the birth of the singles charts.

Contributors include Tom Jones, actor Martin Freeman, Myleene Klass, songwriter Diane Warren, musician Soweto Kinch, Bob Stanley from St. Etienne, Michael Bradley from the Undertones, the Reverend Run, DJ Cosmo, Pete Shelley from The Buzzcocks, Pete Waterman, Mike Read, David Jensen, Johnnie Walker, Bob Harris and Neil Fox

First broadcast in 2009.

David looks at the 'war of the speeds', the early glory days of the vinyl single and a brave new world of cheap 'portable' record players.

022009031720130109 (6M)

David Quantick continues his look at our love affair with the 45 rpm single.

In programme two he looks at the early days of the charts and the effect the single had on that new phenomenon; the teenager; the power the TV Music shows had on the single; and the cultural power of the 45 from the revolution of rock and roll to teeny and weeny boppers and Glam rock's children of the revolution.

First broadcast in 2009.

David Quantick looks at the early days of the charts and the cultural impact the single had society, especially upon on that new phenomenon, the teenager.

David Quantick looks at the birth of the charts and the effect the single had on society.

032009032420130110 (6M)

David Quantick takes a look at the workings of the singles industry.

David Quantick continues his exploration of our love affair with the 45 rpm single.

In programme three, David looks at the workings of the singles industry, exploring the studios that grew up to service the singles business, including The Brill Building, Motown and Stock Aitken and Waterman's "hit factory"! He also takes a look at the power of the DJ on the single.

David Quantick looks at the studios behind the singles industry, including Stock, Aitken and Waterman's 'hit factory', and the power of the DJ for the single.

David Quantick looks at the studios behind the singles business and the power of DJs.

04 LAST2009033120130111 (6M)

David Quantick concludes his exploration of our love affair with the 45 rpm single with a look at the iconic status of the single, the influence it has had over the DJ, the obsessive singles collectors and the unexpected survival of the indie record store.

First broadcast in 2009.

David Quantick looks at the iconic status of the single, the influence the single has had over the DJ, obsessive singles collectors and the survival of the indie record store.