45 RPM Adapter

Former CFNY deejay Pete Fowler has a radio show entitled The Lost Indie City and he sells tee shirts with a big yellow 45 rpm adapter on it to promote the program. I've got one, and wear it often.

Jeff Woods and Me

It's a fantastic conversation piece. It never fails that when I go for a walk wearing this shirt some guy, usually in his 50s or 60s, will light up and tell me he remembers those. I myself used to buy 45 singles at my local Sam the Record Man so I always had such an adapter on hand.

The other day I was wearing this shirt and walking with my wife, who was born in the 1980s and had no idea what it was, and we wondered aloud if my 14 year old would know what it was. I was pretty sure he would and my wife was pretty sure he wouldn't. My wife was right.

The 45 rpm adapter is a dog whistle that can only be heard by those of a certain vintage. By the late 80s, it was all about the CD. Even in the mid-80s, cassette tapes were taking over among my peers. I'll bet few under the age of 40 have ever touched one of these.

If you smile when you see me wearing this shirt, you're 40+. I guarantee it.


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Comments (31 - click here to join in!)

Jody Thornton

We had them for record changers when I was a kid, but I used a platter spindle on single-play turntables by the time I was ten, so say 1980 ...lol. I would've never used these adapters on real turntables, just record changers.
:)

Good memories though.

June 30, 2016 @ 8:53 AM

James Edgar

I inherited my sister's record player( Strictly mono! ) when i was about 5 or 6 and got one of my own when I was about 8 , so yes i know exactly what that is and yes i'd probably smile.

June 30, 2016 @ 9:12 AM

Derek

This is why Boom 973 uses the adapter as part of their brand. It plays well with the listenership.

D

June 30, 2016 @ 9:16 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Derek

Of course! If you don't know what this is, you won't listen anyway.

June 30, 2016 @ 9:24 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Derek

Now send me a boom tee shirt and I'll wear that, too! Medium, pls. :)

June 30, 2016 @ 9:25 AM

headsup

Very interesting post, Mike. As a child whose formative music years began in around 1990, cassettes ruled the day until I cobbled together the cash to get a diskman and then a stereo. Don't get me wrong, I am aware about 45's and even 78's, but had no idea an adapter was needed. You learn something new every day.

June 30, 2016 @ 9:48 AM

Rick C in Oakville

Our old Lloyds stereo when I was a kid had special rectangular adaptor to put overcome the thin spindle used for 33's and 78's. You could stack them about 5 or 6 deep if memory serves me.
Any link to buy a tee shirt?

June 30, 2016 @ 10:31 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Rick C in Oakville

You can message Pete directly here and he can hook you up: https://www.facebook.com/TheLostIndieCity37/

June 30, 2016 @ 10:34 AM

John M.

Why did 45s have that big hole in the middle that forced us all to buy those adapters?

I wonder if there is some such technology our parents used that we would have no idea what it was.

Mike, would your kids know what a fax machine is?

I joined a big company in downtown Toronto in 1988 and there was a person whose job was just to send and receive faxes. That technology came and went pretty fast.

June 30, 2016 @ 10:58 AM

Irv

The irony is that it's unlikely he uses records at either station ;-)

Sound FM is back on the air? Their funding got yanked by UW years ago in what I believe was a referendum ran by the Feds (Federation of Students). It was 250 watts of incestuous, exclusive radio broadcasting from a cornfield in Jakobstettel. They were off the air for quite song time & I see their back. I wonder if the same number of people are listening as there was before (the stream often had no one tuned in).

Fowler, if you're reading this, take the show down to CJIQ 88.3 and pitch it there. I believe Paul is still in charge of programming. It's Conestoga College's 4000 watt alternative rock station. It has streaming and it has a CUME (about 18,000 in the last book which they subscribe to once a year). You might also try Grand 101 in Fergus. It's a local community station serving Elora, Fergus and North Guelph. It's run by a couple of radio veterans who once ran CKWR 98.5. They have volunteer slots & last time I listened (admittedly a while ago) they had a Saturday night dedicated to "retro". It's well executed and given that Fergus was in the shadow of CFNY it might be of interest to them.

@Jody. Only poor people used these things. Most people used that little plastic upside down top like thing (as in a top you spin). These things fell out of the singles all the time. I knew you'd be in this thread lol.

June 30, 2016 @ 11:21 AM

Barry

@ John M

Here's a good explanation for the big hole in 45s:

http://ajournalofmusicalthings.com/why-is-the-hole-on-a-45-rpm-record-so-big/

June 30, 2016 @ 11:22 AM

Anon & On & On & On

Mid 30's here, and I know what a 45 adapter is. But I grew up with an old turntable in my room (so I could listen to Disney and kids LP's without driving the rest my family insane), so I'm pretty sure I'm an anomaly. :)

June 30, 2016 @ 12:36 PM

Jody Thornton

@John M

The 45-rpm disc was originally an RCA format meant to go up against Columbia's LP format, which came out just two years before. RCA thought that the 45-rpm single disc would be a more suitable replacement for 78-rpm records, whereas they thought the LP format may have been too long for the enjoyment of the average person. So they were originally competing formats.

In fact, the original 45-rpm discs had a slightly narrower groove width so the microgrove stylus intended for the LP was not exactly a perfect fit for a single (but close enough). I figure by the time 45-rpm discs were first issued in stereo in the 60s, the groove dimensions were standardized to match the stereo LP.

June 30, 2016 @ 2:31 PM

Jody Thornton

@Irv:

LOL... yes the red top or else the metal flat disc is what I used - that's what I meant by the single spindle.
:)

June 30, 2016 @ 5:04 PM

Anon&on

Those plastic adapters were hit and miss on the automatic spindles. The pressure of the hold down arm would pop the record of of the adapter, the record fell way off center and then you probably broke the needle. There were multi play adapters that fit over the spindle, or the higher end hi-fi had a separate multi spindle for 45's.
There is the CD equivalent, the adapter ring for the 3" cd.

June 30, 2016 @ 5:26 PM

Blind Dave

Remember them well. I had a couple of round black ones as well.

June 30, 2016 @ 7:49 PM

Pete

Toronto Mike, once again thank you for plugging our show, and for generating a really interesting conversation re. The 45 adapter.

Irv, your comments are bang on. Back in the day when I was a student at U of W, and paying student dues to the U of W radio station, I tried and tried to get some air time at CKMS/SOUNDFM and I couldn't. Almost all the programmers at that time were non students that knew each other. It was frustrating. Now the studios are near downtown Kitchener and it is more community based and open to everyone. The old guard is no longer there. Thank you for the alternate radio suggestions. Over the last 6 months I have reached out to over a dozen community/university (you mentioned one) and a couple of alt commercial radio stations, and only one person has returned my emails and/or phone calls. We sometimes cover over 4 decades of music and we play an eclectic mix covering all aspects of indie music, so stations that are supportive of such a mix of music whether we play industrial, ska/reggae, shoegaze, alt rock, synth, electronic, etc etc etc, we are all for! I will try the other avenues you mentioned Irv. Thank you. PF

July 1, 2016 @ 10:53 AM

Pete

Btw, if you listen to a couple of our shows you will hear a couple of our records skip. We have 2 turntables at the station, and some of the music we play is only available on vinyl (I.e. Local Punk etc) and it just doesn't sound as good if I convert my vinyl to an MP3.

July 1, 2016 @ 11:00 AM

Douglas

I get a lot of comments and thumbs up gestures when I wear a 45 rpm adapter shirt that I bought at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. If you have not been there, go. Toss aside any of the old stereotypes about Cleveland, too. There is plenty to see for anyone who appreciates rock music, even if you don't know what the adapter is. Toronto's David Marsden is part of what I'll call the builders of radio section.

July 1, 2016 @ 11:02 AM

Peter the K

The proper term for that yellow adapter thing is a "spider".

Oy! Kids!

July 1, 2016 @ 12:14 PM

Irv

@Pete

Sadly, the college radio scene has always been an incestuous circle jerk. That self important attitude has essentially rendered the medium pretty much obsolete. CKMS/The Sound easily served Uptown Waterloo but you never saw mention of them anywhere. The programmers at the station defined all the worst elements of "hipster". The minute a band became even remotely popular suddenly there were "sell outs". It was an exclusive little club and having spent a lot of my time in college & community radio I admit to be very pleased to see the station get blown up & go off the air. I always saw it as such a waste of what should have been a real gift to the cultural community in Waterloo. I mean, CKMS was in the perfect situation. A UW entity, easily listenable in Uptown Waterloo, a highly cultural place & surrounded by young, well paid technology types who often like counter culture. Case in point The Jane Bond Cafe & Starlight.

It's good to hear they're (The Sound) more community focused. I think College radio is essentially a dinosaur, but I think community radio has a brighter future than mainstream FM provided it stays local & focused on it's audience. On that topic, try out Whistler FM in Whistler BC. It's a community radio station which is focused on "indie" music. Absolutely community orientated & well programmed. The owner was the guy who started Shore 104 in Vancouver which was a Triple A that was good. They might be a good place to approach with your program. You could also try Roundhouse Radio in Vancouver. It's a relatively new station and quite interesting.

You might also approach CKUA Alberta. CKUA is the CBC of Alberta and has repeaters all across the province. They put out some GREAT radio and are more diverse & eclectic than CFNY in it's 80's heyday. They do block programming and have some great shows (give The Label a listen sometimes).

Good luck & I'll give the show a listen.

July 1, 2016 @ 1:47 PM

Pete

@Irv,

Well said my friend, well said. Thank you Irv for your honest, and refreshing take. I will definitely follow up on your suggestions and thank you for taking the time to not only respond but to also refer us to some alternate avenues for our little show that we have yet to explore and wouldn't have known about if you hadn't suggested them. Cheers! PF

July 1, 2016 @ 2:37 PM

Irv

@Pete

Gave the show a listen on SoundCloud and it's excellent. I was a fan of CFNY up to about 1988 & then for a bit in 91-92 and a fan you on the station. You played Microchip League - New York a song I'd forgotten about. Many people forget that CFNY wasn't just legendary for playing alternative rock. It was legendary for introducing Toronto to the rave & club scene. I mean, they played Guy Called Gerald - Voodoo Ray. CFNY, Sheppard & Deadly Headly laid the roots for what would become Dance then Energy 108.

Here's a couple for you. It reminds me how freaking GOOD music CFNY was in the 80's before Nirvana destroyed everything.

A little Cancon from Montreal that I'd bet few people remember

and on the whole dance/club scene, a song James Scott used to play on my drive home

July 1, 2016 @ 8:39 PM

Pete

@Irv
39 Steps & Book of Love!!! Very nice. Deadly Headly and a few other of the earlier NY jocks exposed me to some great music, even way back when he was at Chum. I worked there in 92 when he was still there and he was always very gracious. Use to love the variety which unfortunately waned over the years. I am glad you enjoyed our little show. We do try to cover stuff that never made it to radio along with music that did but had limited exposure over time. Have a listen to some of the other shows. We try and mix up the genres and the span a few decades so we're not always stuck in one point of time. Thanks for trying out the show Irv and for the feedback. PF

July 1, 2016 @ 9:54 PM

Jody Thornton

(OK hold your tomatoes and rotten eggs please ...lol)

What did one 45 say to the other?
Are you "single"?
(har har har)

July 2, 2016 @ 5:52 PM

Anon&on

@Jody Thornton ... see you on the flipside, ... you have a one track mind ... if we could just get eight of us together...

@Irv There was a stretch when cfny played I Touch Roses every day at approx. 3pm.

July 2, 2016 @ 9:02 PM

Irv

@Anon&on

I like CFNY best from about 84-early 88 and definitely remember I Touch Roses. They described themselves perfectly with "modern music" because there was such breadth in the playlist. Remember the old commercial that had a 3 dollar budget that showed they played 10,000 records?

I really thought they hit an interesting stride from 91-93. They definitely weren't "The Spirit" but they had an interesting diverse playlist. Of course that era was a very good time for music. There was some excellent Cancon at the time too. The minute "Edge" came along I was gone.

Classic Cancon you can't even buy anymore. Too bad

July 3, 2016 @ 5:17 PM

Jody Thornton

Holy crap. You just reminded me of "Inside Out"

@Irv. You can't get Crash Vegas on CD or iTunes? Not even hear it on Spotify? I'm actually asking, not being smart.

July 3, 2016 @ 5:51 PM

Irv

No, you can't buy the CD anymore and strangely it's not available on iTunes. I haven't thought to check Spotify to be honest.

Crash Vegas was a great indie pop band. I often wonder why they do not get more airplay on retro shows. But, I sometimes listen to Sirius 80s on 8 or 90s on 9 and I realize there is LOTS of good music FM radio has forgot.

Jody, I've got an monster iTunes library, I think it's around 7000 songs. So lots of old stuff. It's my way of remembering songs ;-). I don't have the space for CD's.

July 3, 2016 @ 9:13 PM

Roshan

He looks a bit like a slimmer version of James Hetfield (Metallica)

July 13, 2016 @ 11:36 AM

45 rpm adapter

I'm looking to buy a 45 rpm adapter. What do you think of this adapter: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01GBBF2L8

Looks really good quality.

July 14, 2017 @ 3:55 AM

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