The other day Richie Phillips and I both did a story about National Eight Track Tape Day, which was April 11th. I mentioned about how we could play music from the eight track tape cartridges in our cars, but we couldn’t play records. One of our WGNA Facebook fans, Steve Ryan, told me that there was a car record player. For the younger folk, records were the round, vinyl discs that we played music from. They either were seven, 10, or 12 inch in diameter. The more popular were the seven and 12 inch records. Most of the time, a 12 inch record (also called an album) held several different songs. The seven inch records (also called a single) usually had two songs on it. Most records has two sides. The singles usually had one song on one side, and a different song on the other.

I asked Steve if he had a picture of the record player for a car, because I would have loved to see it. I've never seen one of them. He sent me a link that had some great pictures and information about the car record player. According to Steve, the players were available from about the mid 1950s to early 1960s.

Car Record Player

These players used a different kind of a record, that would play at a different speed than the regular singles or albums. While singles played at 45 rpms (revolutions per minute), and albums played at 33 and one third  rpms, ( I won’t get into the old 78 rpm records) the car record player ran at 16 and two thirds rpms. This allowed the record to play for about an hour. I always wondered why the old turntables and record players had the speed 16 on them.

After I did a little more research, I found out through YouTube that they made car record players that did play singles. They actually played thhe records upside down.

This is one piece of vintage technology I don’t think Richie Phillips ever owned either. I would like to thank Steve Ryan for the information.

Richie, Kevin Richards and myself all used to use records when we dj'd many parties and weddings. A little different now when we dj events with computers.

For those of you that had records, do you wish that you had one of these car players? Since we have advanced past records, eight track tapes, cassettes and cds on to mp3 players, what do you think the next player might be? Out of all the ways that we played music through the years, which was your favorite?

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