automatic musical instruments
National Jukebox Day
Hey, hey, hey…PAR-TAY! I love a jukebox and I had no idea there was a national celebration day. ~Vic
From National Day Calendar:
On the day before gathering around the turkey, gather around the nearest jukebox to celebrate National Jukebox Day! As Americans flock to their hometowns for Thanksgiving, many will head out to neighborhood bars and restaurants. They’ll catch up with friends and family and, celebrate by playing great songs on their local jukebox.
The name jukebox is thought to originate from places called juke houses or jook joints. In the early 1900s, people congregated in these establishments to drink and listen to music. Throughout history, the jukebox continued to evolve with the times. While the Blue Grass Boys played to sold-out audiences in the Grand Ole Opry, guys and gals danced the night away by playing their song over and over, again, on the jukebox at a local pub. With the advancement of technology, today’s jukebox is more versatile than ever before. Throughout each era, from big band, jazz, country and blues, to rock & roll, acoustic, and electric, and everything in between, the jukebox has played it all.
In 1889, Louis Glass and his partner William S. Arnold invented the first coin-operated player in San Francisco. They were both managers of the Pacific Phonograph Co. Formally known as the nickel-in-the-slot machine, the player included a coin operation feature on an Edison phonograph. However, it played a limited selection of songs without any amplification.
When recording artists first crooned into microphones and cut records into vinyl, an aspiring inventor in a Chicago music store worked nights to build a box that would play both sides of the record. The Automatic Entertainer was introduced by John Gabel and included 24 song selections.
The 1930s were considered the start of “The Golden Era” for jukeboxes as manufacturers including Rudolph Wurlitzer Co., The J. P. Seeburg Corp., The Rock-Ola Manufacturing Corp. and Automatic Musical Instrument Co., competed to produce them for diners, saloons and other entertainment locations.
1946 ushered in “The Silver Age” for jukeboxes as market demand for the newest and greatest technology soared. Fashionable and sleek, jukeboxes weren’t just music players, they were centerpieces often flamboyant with color and chrome. Neon and sci-fi became a tremendous influence on style as well.
The 1960s was the start of a new modern age for jukeboxes. Designs of coin-operated models went through radical changes, not only because of the availability of new materials, such as plastic but also because of the need to accommodate customer demand for more song selection.
In 1989, compact-disc mechanisms replaced the older record style players as newer technology became affordable and rapidly implemented among the general population. Jukeboxes started to become more of a novelty than a necessity.
TouchTunes founded National Jukebox Day to celebrate the iconic jukebox and the powerful memories it evokes in people.
Terry Stafford (Elvis sound-alike)
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