By Evangeline Jenninngs
Brace yourselves, pop kids, for another nail into your cultural coffin. In March, the seven inch vinyl single reaches retirement age. Zoot alors!
The first commercial seven-inch single, spinning at 45 revolutions per minute, was “Texarkana Baby” by Eddy Arnold. It was released by RCA Victor on March 31st 1949 as a counterstrike against Columbia Records’ launch of the long-playing 33. The second 45 was Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup’s “That’s All Right”.
Yes, that’s right, mama, the seven inch single gave you rock’n’roll. Not God, not Kiss, not even Rod Argent. The seven inch single also gave us popular culture. You don’t believe me? Take a look and think about it.
So shove your Compact Disks, Downloads, even YouTube, the classic pop single has always been where it’s at. Cheap, disposable, instant. And yet, at their best, done properly, they captured a moment, inspired a generation – or a summer – and became something important that was handed down in families from father to daughter. The Undertones, for example, said more in one hundred and forty four seconds of cheap pop punk buzz than other bands managed in a career of ludicrously expensive and over-engineered concept albums.
Such memories and fantasies are now the inspiration for our own Singles Club. We don’t expect to change the world – obviously – but we want to. And we think having a Singles Clubs will be really fuck-off cool. So once a month throughout this new year, we shall be releasing a Kindle Single.
The first was published today. It’s called Niagara. I wrote it. And I’m very proud of it. Though not as proud as I would have been if I’d done this.
If you want to submit a story or an idea for a Pankhearst Single, then please check out the Singles Club Submissions page.