National Silent Record Week

National Silent Record Week, observed during the first week of January, invites people across the U.S. to experience a silent record. For those unfamiliar with silent records, these are not your typical music-playing discs. Instead, they offer an experience of silence.

Contrary to what one might assume as a contemporary, quirky concept, silent records date back to the 1950s. But why play or record a silent track? The answer lies in the desire for a moment of tranquility amidst the noise and chaos of everyday life.

The History of National Silent Record Week

During the 1950s, the concept of the silent record truly gained prominence. Billboard reported that at the University of Detroit, three “silent records” were introduced into a jukebox. Termed as stereophonic silence, these records offered students brief respites of tranquility.

In 1960, the Reading Eagle from Pennsylvania announced that the first week of January would be celebrated as Silent Record Week. This initiative was hailed as an international homage to the serenity offered by jukeboxes. The silent records gained immense popularity at the university, necessitating their replacement due to wear and tear from frequent use.

It was around this period that a commercially released record, titled “Six Whole Minutes of Golden…Silence!”, featured a full six minutes of silence. Over subsequent years, various records, including a humorous 1980 release titled “The Wit and Wisdom of Ronald Reagan,” embraced the concept. Additionally, the trend extended to music albums incorporating silent tracks as interludes between songs.

Observing National Silent Record Week

Observing National Silent Record Week is straightforward for anyone with access to a silent record. Simply put the record on and relish the silence. However, the week is not exclusive to those owning these rare records. Anyone seeking a brief respite can participate by taking a moment to listen to and appreciate silence.

When is it?
This year (2024)
January 1 Monday
Next year (2025)
January 1 Wednesday
Last year (2023)
January 1 Sunday
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