Classic Urban Harmony, LLC

"We Take You Back In The Day"





    What's New?

  Mills Brothers Society

    Our Events

  Bookshelf, DVD's


Presentation and Event Photo Album

    Charlie's Bio

    Pam's Bio


    Responses to
    our Presentations

    Articles & Press
    About Us

   Our Brochure

    Articles by Us

[New!]Wally Osborne & Starfires

Satan & the Angels - Blue Eyed Soul

Tony Talent & the Coalitions

Golden Bells & Contessas

Sweet Delights

Sammy Strain & the Imperials, 1964 -, Part 4 in the series

Sammy Strain & the Imperials, 1961 - 1963 Part 3

Sammy Strain & the Fantastics Part 2

Sammy Strain & the Chips Part 1

Asbury Park Vocal Groups Pt. 2

Asbury Park Vocal Groups, Pt.1

Philly's Original Capris

Little Jimmy & The Tops

Teddy & Twilights, Deckers

Groups from Philly's Francisville - Belltones, Joe Cook's Thrillers, Royal Demons, Madison Brothers

Sensations - Part 1

Sensations - Part 2

Johnny Maestro, the Crests & Brooklyn Bridge

Johnny Stiles & the Medallions on Essex

The Plurals

The Vic Donna Story

Orioles' Deborah Chessler

Tyrone & the Nu-Ports

Windy City Harmony: Calvaes, Blenders & Accents

        The Del Larks

Richard Barrett Part 1: The Valentines

Richard Barrett
Part 2:
Frankie Lymon & Teenagers

Richard Barrett
Part 3: The Chantels, Clickettes,
Fashions Veneers

Richard Barrett
Part 4:

Little Anthony & Imperials

Richard Barrett
Part 5: Lewis Lymon
Teenchords Jimmy Castor & Juniors

Richard Barrett
Part 6: The Channels,
Isley Bros, Del Knights

Richard Barrett Part 7: The 3 Degrees, Showmen

    Visit Our

Our Photo Gallery:
Our Musical Family

Our Photo Gallery:
CUH Archives

Renovations to the Classic Urban Harmony Library

    Concert Reviews,
    Photos & Events

bullet [New!]Choice at Roxy & Dukes
bullet [New!]Philly Ringtones at Franklin Township Library
[New!]Curators Talk, Spirituals to Soul Exhibit
bullet [New!]Sonny Til's son & grandson visit Classic Urban Harmony Headquarters
bullet [New!]Re-MedmberThen at Roxy & Dukes
bullet [New!]Quiet Storm at Roxy & Dukes
bullet [New!]Spirituals to Soul Museum Exhibit, Freehold
bulletVelvet Candles in Barcelona, Spain
bulletFilming Doo Wop Documentary
bullet2015 Portsmouth VA Gospel Concert
bullet Monmouth University West Side Music Exhibit
bulletAsbury Park West Side Music Exhibit Monmouth University - Set Up
bulletAsbury Park West Side Music Exhibit, Heaven Gallery
bullet2014 Philly Doo Wop Festival
bulletTNT with Vic Donna Group & Charlie Horner
bulletAsbury Angels 2014, Bobby Thomas
bulletRichard Nader Doo Wop Concert XXV
bullet2014 Portsmouth VA Gospel Concert
bullet Billy Vera Big Band at the Cutting Room NYC
bullet VGHA Extravaganza III
bullet Asbury Park Gospel Explosion

African American
Museum Philadelphia
Gospel Awards Ceremony

bullet Ray Goodman & Brown in Plainfield
at NJ Doo Wop Singers Club 2013

bulletEncounters at Somerset Run
bulletRichard Nader's Doo Wop Celebration XXVI
2013 Asbury Angels Plaque Dedications
bullet VGHA Acappella Extravaganza II
bullet2013 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
bullet Time Capsule Show 50th Anniversary
2013 Portsmouth, VA Gospel Concert
at Manchester, NJ

at New Providence Library

bulletJohn Moore's Middle Room Records Closes
bulletLittle Isidore in Fair Lawn, NJ
bulletNJ Doo Wop Singers Club Jan 2013
bulletCelebrating Asbury Park's West Side Harmony
bulletDoo Wop Singers Club 4th Anniversary
bulletChuck Berry Honored by the R&R Hall of Fame
bulletQuiet Storm at Somerset Run
bulletAsbury Angels 2012 Induction Ceremony
bullet2012 Philly Doo Wop Festival
bullet2012 Lead East
bulletTNT R&B and Doo Wop Party, Aug 2012
bulletPam Nardella's Frankie Lymon Tombstone BBQ
bullet Classic Urban Harmony Celebrates Vocal Harmony & the Masqueraders 50th Anniversary
bulletFrankie Lymon Tombstone Finds a New Home
bulletStormin Norman Seldin & Return of Ray & Darchaes in Monmouth Beach NJ
bullet2012 Portsmouth VA Gospel Concert
bulletTNT North Jersey R&B and Doo Wop Party - 2nd Anniversary
bulletAcappella Extravaganza at Molloy College 2011
bulletDoo Wop Singers Club (NJ) Third Anniversary
bulletSoul of Asbury Park Concert
bulletMasqueraders Silver Star Competition
bullet6th Annual Philly Doo Wop Festival
bulletSouth Philly String Band Club After Party to 6th Philly Doo Wop Festival
bulletTymes' Norman & Peggy Burnett BBQ 2011
bullet2011 Lead East
bullet Morris Museum Acappella & Doo Wop Concert # Two
bullet Morris Museum Acappella Concert # One
bulletClassic Urban Harmony Presentation NJ Doo Wop Groups Part 2
bulletClassic Urban Harmony Presentation NJ Doo Wop Groups Part 1
bulletMorris Museum LaBamba & Quiet Storm Concert
bulletMorris Museum Jersey Rocks Exhibit Opening
bulletMorris Museum Jersey Rocks Launch Party
bulletEvening With Vocal Group Legends Concert
bulletRe-memberThen Finds Its Echo
bulletSteve Applebaum Tribute Concert
bulletWFDU Fundraiser, Teaneck, NJ March 2011
bullet Four J's Jimmy Testa Tribute & Benefit Concert
bulletVic Donna Group Rehearsal at CUH Headquarters
bulletPam & Charlie's 5th Anniversary Celebration - Multi Parts
bullet2010 Philly Doo Wop Festival
bullet"Doll Face" Musical Comedy
bulletNJ Doo Wop & Street Corner Harmony Association
bulletNick @ Nite Open Mic Night
bulletLeins Wedding
bullet"Fun-Raiser" at South Philly String Band Club
bulletRichard Naderís Summer Doowop Reunion XXI
bulletPhilly Doo Wop Diner Mural
bulletMaking Crossroads 2
bulletCornerstone CD Release Party
bulletVirginia Legends of Gospel Concert
bulletS. Philly Stringband Club Jan 13, 2010
bulletRemembering Ronnie I. Concert Nov 2009
bulletPGHA's Heavenly Harmony XII Concert
bulletS. Philly Stringband
bulletFilming a Documentary
on Acappella
bulletAcappella Group Soul'D
Out on
Oct 2009
bulletBattleship New Jersey Dance & Concert
bulletWVLT Cruisin' 92.1 Concert
bulletTymes' Norman & Peggy Burnett 2009 BBQ
bullet2009 Charleston Beach Music & Shag Festival
bulletAcappella Group Choice at Franklin Township Public Library
bullet American Bandstand Studio Fundraiser
bulletAcappella at the South Philly String Band Club Revisited
bulletFour Man Trio at At Dover NJ's Attilio's Tavern
bulletNicky Addeo at Asbury Park's Wonder Bar
bulletASAP's First Acappella Concert
bulletAcappella at the South Philly String Band Club
bulletVisiting Radio's Past & Present at WDVR-FM
bullet Chicago SoulTrip USA
bulletR&R Hall
of Fame
Interview with
Orioles' Deborah

bulletSilhouettes' John Wilson Visits CUH World Headquarters
bulletNJ Doowop Group Harmony Club, 2009.
bullet New Years Eve 2008 with Nicky Addeo & Nite Owls
bullet 2008 European Road Trip: Deep River Quartet & Golden Gate Quartet
bullet 2008 Black Swan Burlington Concert
bullet 2008 Charleston Beach Music & Shag Festival
bullet Mills Bros,
Ink Spots
Beach Haven

bulletPhilly Doo Wop
Festival 2008

bullet Philly Doo Wop
Festival 2006


    In Tribute

bullet Dick Rietveld, Deep River Quartet
bullet Robert Murphy, Neighbors Complaint
bullet Walter McNeil, Gospel Nobleaires
bullet Jewel Akens, 4 Dots
bulletVirgil Johnson, Velvets
bulletCleotha Staples, Staple Singers
bulletDarlene McCrae, Cookies, Raeletts
bulletGregory Carroll, Four Buddies, Orioles, Dappers, Ink Spots
bulletJerome Ramos, Velours
bulletMickey "Guitar" Baker
bulletEarl Speedo Carroll, Cadillacs
bulletMajor Harris, Delfonics, Nat Turner Rebellion, R&B Soloist
bulletBilly Scott, Prophets
bulletCleve Duncan, Penguins
bulletDeborah Chessler, Songwriter,Mentor to the Orioles
bulletWilla Ward, Ward Singers, Gay Charmers
bulletBobby Thomas, Vibranaires, Vibes, V-Eights, Orioles
bulletJohn Jones, Moments Pleasure, Norristones, Copians
bulletChester Brown. The Counts
bulletJimmy Ellis, Trammps, Cordells, Exceptions
bulletJimmy Castor
bulletJack Scandura
bullet Cadillacs' Bobby Phillips
bulletBobby Robinson
bulletRobins' Grady Chapman
bullet Blue Notes' Roosevelt Brodie
bullet Moonglows' Harvey Fuqua
bulletCrests' & Brooklyn Bridge's Johnny Maestro
bulletDelroys' Reggie Walker
bulletSolitaires' & Vocaleers' Herman Dunham
bulletValentines' & Del-Knights' Eddie Edgehill
bulletChris Bartley
bulletSilhouettes' John Wilson
bulletLes Paul
bullet Castelles' Billy Taylor

    1950's R&B &
    Doo Wop


The Academics 


The Avalons


The Avons


The Blue Notes (original)


Claude Robinson & Creations


The 5 Embers


The Juveniles/ Twilights/ Embers


The Silhouettes

    1960's Soul

bulletThe Ad-Libs
bullet Jackson Five (Pre-Motown & Other Rarities)

    Carolina Beach Music

bullet The Poor Souls

    Modern Era
    Doo Wop Groups

bullet40 Years of Group Harmony: Ray Block's Photos of Vintage, Ad-Libs, Reunion, Bon-Aires, East River Drive
bulletYounger Dayz

    Gospel Groups

Angelic Gospel

bulletClaude Jeter & the Swan Silvertones

    Early Black
    Vocal Groups
    1870 -1930


The American
Jubilee Singers



The Dinwiddie Quartet

   History of


The 60th Anniversary of the Vinyl 45 RPM Single

    Rare Record

bulletHico Label

   Holiday Harmony

bullet Vocalaries' White Christmas
bulletPenguins' A Christmas Prayer
bulletDominoes' Christmas In Heaven
bulletCameos' Merry Christmas
bulletDrifters' White Christmas
Lonely Christmas


bullet Philadelphia Area Doo Wop & Acappella Groups
bulletBermuda Vocal Groups


Unknown Vocal Groups

     Great LINKS




The Vinyl 45 RPM Single Turned 60 in 2009

Happy 60th Birthday to the Vinyl 45 RPM single!  Two more years and the 45 can collect Social Security! 

What?   You thought the vinyl record died years ago?  Well, youíre wrong.  Word is itís off life-support and even making a slight comeback.

It is true that now days, kids grow up thinking music can only be stored digitally.  People walk around with those nano-sized boxes with wired headphones holding sixteen bazillion electronic files, each one turned instantly into a song.  But thatís not how to collect music.  You canít hold an mp3 in your hand and look at the label!  Long live vinyl!  And weíre not talking flooring or siding.  Here at Classic Urban Harmony, weíre talking ďrecords.Ē

          Even we canít imagine what it was like during the early days of recorded music.  How we would have loved to crank the handle on the old Victrola, drop the needle on the Edison disc, stick our ears next to that large brass horn and catch the latest tunes.

          In the beginning there was only wax.  And it was used to make wax cylinders, with grooves in the wax to record your voice.  Yes, there were black singing quartets on wax cylinders about a hundred years ago.  We have eight or nine of them in our Classic Urban Harmony Archives, but there are a couple a dozen more on our want list!

Wax Cylinder of Polk Miller & Old South Quartette
(From the Classic Urban Harmony Archive)

          By the early 1900ís, wax was also used to coat cardboard round flat plates, called discs or records.  Many different size discs and speeds were tried in the early days.  Recording inventors found there were three ways to increase the time of the recording on a disc: use larger discs (this was bulky); use slower speeds (and lose fidelity); or make the grooves narrower (they wear out too quickly if you use the wrong material, like wax).

          As early as 1901, Victor records tried out a 7" record, but it was abandoned two years later in favor of the new standard - a 10" 78 RPM, wide groove wax disc.  It was the best combination of good fidelity and size to give a three-minute record.

Early 1900's Edison Disk.  Such 78 RPM records were 1/4" thick.
(From the Classic Urban Harmony Archives)

          In 1926 Vitaphone needed a method of putting sound to their silent movies.  They wanted to do it by playing the movie sound track on record but didnít want to change records every 3 minutes.  So, they came out with a 16" record, recorded at 33-1/3 RPM and made of a new material, shellac.  Shellac was more durable than wax.  Shellac came from a tiny scale insect that infested trees in India.  It seems these slimy disgusting bugs were sucking the juice of the trees and excreting shellac continuously.  How someone thought of turning it into phonograph records is beyond us.  The 33-1/3 RPM speed also gave poor fidelity but for a movie sound track, who cared?  People were used to silent films, so any sound was an improvement.  The grooves were a little bit narrower and the records still wore out quickly, even with shellac.  But shellac worked fine for 78 RPM singles with their wider grooves.

          By the late 1920's, records had become electronically recorded and played back.  Now you could listen in better fidelity through a speaker instead of acoustically through that big horn.  Better sound quality meant more record sales.  Music on two new media, electronically recorded discs and radio, was a welcomed distraction from the economic woes of the country.

           Thus, the media of choice became the 10", 78-RPM shellac single.  It was heavy and very breakable.  But it was the best we had at the time.

Shellac 78 RPM Records, this one from 1939.
(From the Classic Urban Harmony Archives)

          In 1931, RCA Victor tried, and failed, to introduce a 12" 33 1/3 RPM, long playing record, made out of something called Vitrolac.  The grooves were twice as narrow, and the records wore out very quickly.  Also, they required a special new record player which cost hundreds of dollars - nobody could afford it during the Depression.

          Then, in 1933, a Bakelite research chemist named Frazier Groff, made a major discovery.  He found that a class of polymers called vinyl could be used to make phonograph records.  Vinyl records were less breakable and could be made more flexible and at lighter weight.  More important, vinyl didnít wear down so fast, even when the grooves were made very narrow!

          By the mid 1930's, some radio transcriptions were being made of vinyl.  These were usually 16", 33 1/3 RPM, and contained 6 recordings per side.  Vinyl was still not offered to the public because it was too expensive.

          Then something happened that forever changed the face of recorded sound.  It was called World War II.  The U.S. War Department created the V-Disc program to ship records to military personnel overseas.  In spite of careful packing, many of the shellac V-Discs were arriving broken.  The V-Disc program quickly switched to vinyl V-Discs.  Within the U.S., private record manufacturers were having trouble getting shellac during the war.  What limited supplies of shellac were available had to be extended with filler which created some mighty noisy recordings.  To survive, record manufacturers had to find new record pressing materials, even if they were more expensive.  Some began making vinyl 78ís.

          In 1948, Columbia introduced the 33-1/3 RPM Vinyl LP.  It cost more than a 78, but you got 12 songs instead of 2 on one lightweight, unbreakable disc.  The grooves were very narrow (microgrooves) and required a special diamond-tipped stylus, instead of a metal needle.  And you needed a new record player ... or you could adapt your old player.  The first LP's were 10" in diameter to fit on the modified 78 RPM turntables.  Later they became 12".    

          Columbia wanted the entire record industry to standardize on the 33 1/3 speed and format.  In April 1948, Columbia president William S. Paley called a meeting with David Sarnoff, president of Columbiaís chief rival, RCA Victor.  Paley proposed RCA switch to the vinyl 33 1/3 LP format also.  Sarnoff didnít want to be paying licensing fees to Columbia for pressing RCA records until RCA could build its own 33 1/3 RPM pressing plants.  But he did realize the future of recorded music was in vinyl.  He refused the deal and asked his engineers to put a rush on a project theyíd started and dropped ten years earlier, the vinyl 45 RPM single.

          On March 31, 1949, RCA Victor introduced its answer to Columbia, the 7" vinyl 45 RPM single.  The project had been reactivated only a year before.  RCAís top secret development project was referred to as Madame X.  The ď45Ē was smaller, also less breakable, and had a large center hole for playing on RCAís new record player.  The player was a small, inexpensive record changer that could be plugged into any music console.  It allowed 45's to be stacked and played in succession.  78's stacked like that would break.  The great "War Of The Speeds" was on!

Vintage RCA 45 Changer
From the Classic Urban Harmony Archives

1949 RCA Victor magazine ad, explaining "Project Madame X".
(From the Classic Urban Harmony Archives)

        Initially RCA issued 7 different series of 45's:  Pop, Pop Classics, Country & Western, Children's, Classical, Foreign, and R&B.  Each had a different color label, different color vinyl, and Gold Print.  RCA advertised that now you could ďcolor codeĒ your record collection.  The Gold Print was impossible to read and was soon changed to Silver Print.

New Popular Records (47-Series) were on Black Vinyl.
(From the Classic Urban Harmony Archives)

Childrenís Records (also 47-Series) but were on Yellow Vinyl.
(From the Classic Urban Harmony Archives)

Country & Western Records (48-Series) were on Light Green Vinyl.
(From the Classic Urban Harmony Archives)

Classical Music Records (49-Series) were on Red Vinyl.
(From the Classic Urban Harmony Archives)


Rhythm & Blues Records (50-Series) were on Florescent Orange Vinyl.
(From the Classic Urban Harmony Archives)

International Records (51-Series) were on Light (Sky) Blue Vinyl.
(From the Classic Urban Harmony Archives)


Older (claasic) popular records (52-Series) were on Dark Blue Vinyl.
(From the Classic Urban Harmony Archives)

        Eventually, RCA dropped the different colors of vinyl in favor of all black vinyl.

         In answer to Columbia's long-playing (LP) album, RCA produced the 45 RPM Box Set.  These included 3-5 records by the same artist, in a hard cardboard box, often with liner notes.

         In answer to RCAís 7Ē vinyl singles, Columbia started issuing 7Ē 33 1/3 vinyl singles with small holes.  These didnít last very long and were soon discontinued.

         Columbia and RCA Victor began actively courting other labels to sign on with their technologies.  Record labels were quick to line up with either RCA or Columbia or both.  Some labels hedged their bets and began producing 45ís, 33ís and 78ís.  With the introduction of any new recording format, record labels go deep into their vaults and reissue older material in the new form.  After all, they can resell old classics to the same people who bought them the first time, with no additional studio or mastering costs.

          By the end of 1951, both RCA and Columbia gave in and began producing both 45's and 33's.  It turned out that both formats could coexist.  The Great War of the Speeds was over.

          The 45 RPM single was to a large part responsible for the Rhythm & Blues and Rock & Roll Age of the 1950ís.  Teenagers could carry a lightweight stack of 45ís to a party and put them on an automatic changer.  Records dropped down in the desired order and created their own dance party.  Older 78ís would have just broken.

         While LPís and cassette tapes became more popular in the 1970ís, vinyl 45ís remained popular until replaced by CDís in the 1980ís.  Eventually music became digital.  Yet many people still feel vinyl gives a fuller, warmer sound.  Vinyl records are still being made.  And vinyl 45ís will always have a home in the Classic urban Harmony Archives.  Long live the 45! 

 *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *

Thanks to our good friend Tom Rowell for suggesting this feature.

Throughout the month of May, Classic Urban Harmony will have memorabilia celebrating the 60th Anniversary of the 45 on display at the Franklin Township Library, Somerset, NJ.  See our Events Calendar for more details.

Copyright © Classic Urban Harmony LLC, 2009.  All Rights Reserved.