BookIn the 1950s and '60s, those shiny 45-rpm records with the big hole in the middle were the primary delivery system for popular American music, especially rock 'n' roll. Cheap to manufacture and available to even fly-by-night record operations, the "donut disc" changed the way popular music was written, recorded, promoted and marketed, and it broke at least for a time the iron-fisted dominance of the major record corporations. This book traces the 7-inch single's origins back to the 1880s, and explains the personality conflicts that led an eccentric genius to develop the 45 into one of postwar America's most popular consumer products. It explores how the jukebox, the autonomous disc jockey, and payola and artist rip-offs kept the 45 at the forefront of rock for 20 years. There are also chapters on the most valuable (and legendary) 45s of all time, as well as the oddities, oddballs and freak hits that make listening to 45s so much fun. With over 80 illustrations many in full color.