Some of you old enough to remember vinyl's heyday are also old enough to remember that 16 RPM speed on that 4 speed automatic record changer in your mom's console stereo and ask "What's that for?"
Well, first 16 RPM was originally invented for special automobile record changers and AM radio fidelity monaural 7" discs that gave an album's worth of music on each side. A slow speed for where there's lots of vibration, but has the benefit of not skipping the tone arm around as badly. Plus you didn't have to change the music so often. Early talking books for the blind were 16 RPM (later cut down to 8 RPM)
.....and even Jimmy Swaggart recorded his sermon albums at 16 RPM.
It was the "misc." speed.
|There were also some jazz albums released by Prestige Records at 16 RPM in the 1950s|
Only problem was 16 RPM for the most part doesn't sound very good (This record however is the best sounding 16 RPM I've EVER heard.) And if was an adopted speed, record companies would have to put out more music than what came in, which was the bottom line. By the '70s, 16 RPM fell out of favour on new turntables as 78 RPM did by 1980.
And that's why there was 16 RPM......