Home Today Is The First Vinyl Record Ever Created Was By RCA Victor In 1931....

The First Vinyl Record Ever Created Was By RCA Victor In 1931. It Was Deemed A Failure

Get spinning on August 12th with National Vinyl Record Day! Whether it’s the Beatles, Elvis Presley, The Monkees, Johnny Cash or the BeeGees, vinyl records have a sound all their own. Most will agree, vintage vinyl is as classic as the bands themselves.

  • When vinyl records first came on the market they had other names. Some of them were a gramophone record or a phonograph record. They are also called records for short. The analog sound storage medium consists of a flat disc. The sound is recorded by inscribing it on a modulated spiral groove.
  • Depending on the speed at which the sound was recorded, the vinyl record will need to be played at a corresponding speed on the record player. This is referred to as rotational speed. The revolutions per minute (RPMs) of the more popular vinyls are:
    • 45s
    • 33 1/3
    • 78s
  • Other features of vinyl records included reproductive accuracy or fidelity (High Fidelity or Hi-Fi, Orthophonic and Full-Range), their time capacity (long-playing or single), and the number of channels of audio provided (mono, stereo or quadraphonic).
  • Vinyl records were also sold in different sizes such as:
    • 12 inch
    • 10 inch
    • 7 inch
  • By 1991, vinyl records left the mainstream.
  • Since 2006, vinyl record sales continue to increase according to Pitchfork.com. Even more dramatic sales started hitting the markets beginning in 2012.
  • Back in 1857, the phonautograph was patented by Leon Scott. This used a stylus and vibrating diaphragm so that sound waves could be graphically recorded as tracings on sheets of paper. This was not for the intention of playing them back at the time, though.
  • In fact, it was not until 2008 that phonautograms of speech and singing that were made by Scott in the 1860s were played back as sound!
  • The phonograph was then invented by Thomas Edison in 1877.
  • The First vinyl record ever created was by RCA Victor in 1931. It was a 12” vinyl recording of the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra performing Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony.
  • In 1901, 10-inch disc records were introduced, followed in 1903 by 12-inch records. These could play for more than three and four minutes, respectively, whereas contemporary cylinders could only play for about
    two minutes.
  • 1894 – 7 inch records were created
  • 1901 – 10 inch records were created
  • 1903 – 12 inch records were created
  • 1925 – The standard record recording speed was 78 rpm.
  • 1931 – The first long-playing record, pressed on flexible plastic discs, introduced by RCA Victor (it was widely regarded as a failure).
  • 1948 – Columbia Record Company introduced the first 12 inch LP 331rpm microgroove record album.
  • 1949 – RCA Victor introduced a 7 inch 45 rpm record with a hole in the center.
  • 1950s – 1960s – Shellac 78 rpm records stopped being produced in favor of vinyl records.
  • 1962 – The first cassette tape was invented by Phillips.
  • 1982 – CDs (compact discs) became available to the public.
  • In 1948, thanks to CBS, we were introduced to the world’s first LP (Long Play) record. Created by Peter Goldmark, this vinyl record had a capacity of around 21 minutes per side and was 12 inches wide, playing at a speed of 33 1/3 RPM. This changed the face of the music industry to the album-centric format we all still abide by today.
  • Shortly after, RCA Victor introduced their own LP, which turned at 45 RPM and was just 7 inches in size. These records formats are the very same that we use today, and that is once again growing in popularity.
  • The Voyager Golden Records were included aboard both the Voyager I and Voyager II spacecraft that were launched into space in 1977. The records include sounds and images to introduce any would-be aliens to our civilization, here on earth. Tracks on the record include pieces by Mozart, Bach, and Beethoven, but they also have rock classic Johnny B Goode by Chuck Berry.
  • The World’s Biggest Vinyl Record Collection is owned by Brazillian businessman José Roberto Alves Freitas. At one point, his collection was said to be 8 million records strong
  • In 1944, Columbia Records released the first commercially available “microgroove plastic, 12-inch, 33-1/3 LP.” This new technology extended playback time to nearly 22 minutes and was much quieter than shellac. The dawn of the Age of Hi-Fi had come.
  • By the early 1930’s on-film “optical soundtracks” replaced the Vitaphone system for movies, but radio stations loved the new platform for music, so it became the standard in the audio industry.
  • Elvis Presley had a nice round total of 200 records counting singles, EPs and albums during his lifetime. That number could very easily have been doubled if he had not died at a young age.
  • Elvis made 31 movies. 25 of these had either an EP or LP soundtrack recording issued with the same name as the movie.
  • The first Elvis song ever recorded was “That’s All Right/Blue Moon of Kentucky” in August 1954
  • Elvis’s biggest hit was “Don’t Be Cruel”. A complex point system was devised to calculate each song depending on several factors such as length of time in the top 100 and a few other metrics and Don’t Be Cruel was number one followed by “All Shook Up”.
  • The best-selling album of 1967 was Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band by the Beatles which sold 250,000 copies in the first week in the UK alone. Fifty years later the best-selling vinyl album was Blurryface by Twenty-One Pilots which shifted 49,000 units. The fourth best-selling album in 2016 was The Beatles’ Abbey Road which shifted 39,000 units.


National Day Calendar

Days of the Year

Vinyl Chapters


Get Vinyl Records


Just Fun Facts

Always the Holidays