On this day in music history: July 8, 1958 – &…

On this day in music history: July 8, 1958 – “Oklahoma! – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack” is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA. The film soundtrack to the hit stage musical written by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II features actors Gordon MacRae, Shirley Jones, James Whitmore and Rod Steiger. Released by Capitol Records in August of 1955 (initially in mono only, then completely remixed in true stereo in 1958), it becomes the first album in history to a receive Gold certification from the Recording Industry Association Of America. Originally established in 1952, the organization initiates an award program to acknowledge the sales achievements of best selling albums and singles. Initially, the Gold award is given to recordings that achieve over $1,000,000 in record sales in the US. In 1975, the criteria for Gold status changes, representing the sales of over 500,000 units shipped for a full length album and 1,000,000 units for a single. In 1989, the sales criteria for Gold singles are reduced to 500,000 units to reflect the then declining sales of singles.