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45s at MLBSSA: Why is the 45 important?

A single song

45s contained a single song on each side. Featuring "singles" changed the way music was marketed and consumed, in that an artist's most popular songs could be marketed separately from an entire album.

The juke box

45s were made to be played on jukeboxes. Jukeboxes existed in all sizes, and were found in restaurants, bars, in peoples' homes, and even in cars! We have our own jukebox at the Music Library.

Sound archivist David Lewis loads the jukebox

Sound archivist Dave Lewis loads the Music Library's jukebox.

Cover art

Initially, 45s were produced in different colors. The novelty of multicolored 45s wore off relatively quickly, but the cover art that graced the sleeves of 45s was an essential marketing tool. Graphic artists were hired to produce eye-catching, edgy covers for hit singles.

Cover for "Mambo" Tito Rodriguez