Dick Clark's world was records - playing them, producing them, promoting them, and even pressing the. During the fifties, both the 45 RPM and rock 'n' roll had a metric rise that would change popular music forever. Until the, the recorded music was primarily heard on heavy, awkward, and breakable 78 RPMs. The 45 made the 78 obsolete; it was light, small and practically indestructible. And because it was cheaper to manufacture, it gave independent record companies a fighting chance in the industry. Rock 'n' roll was born with the 45 RPM. Teens could easily carry the cheap, seven-inch disks to parties. In 1957, 45s cost 69 cents in Philadelphia, and in many places., if you bought six, you got one free. Because Dick moved with the times, by the end of the decade he owned or had interests in thirty-three companies associated with the business.