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Frank StantonFrank Stanton
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That's an interesting chapter in itself, because Wallerstein was a traditional, 78 rpm, shellac- record man. He had no use for vinyl, which was a development of the war years, and he had no interest in innovation. Goldmark was just the reverse, and I said to Wallerstein, who was then running that division of the company, if you don't want to fund this development work, I'll fund it out of corporate. But if it's a success, and you take it into your group, I'm going to charge you for all the expense that the corporation went to to develop it.

No problem. He just thought it was Goldmark's folly. And, of course, it was anything but that, and that gave the record company an enormous shot in the arm and allowed us to do something which we had long wanted to do, but were unable to do, because technology wouldn't permit. And it's as simple as having a record club, where you got your records by mail.

Not an original idea; there were book clubs at that time. But we made a lot of test mailings of 78 [rpm] shellac records, and they always ended up being broken in shipping. And even if those records were made out of shellac, with a core of very strong binder, like a heavy craft paper, to try to keep them from breaking, we couldn't lick it. But the vinyl record, in the 12- inch size, you could bend that and twist it and so forth, you could ship it. It was lightweight; it didn't break.

That let us start a record club. And, of course, the fact that you had a full hour on a record made it much more attractive. The long-playing record did everything that a new product ought to do. It gave you better quality, better distribution and lower price. It just worked all way around, and the record company really took off as a result of that long-playing record.

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