The Nickel-in-the-Slot Player.
November 23, 2007 1:26 AM   Subscribe

On this day in 1889 the first jukebox was installed at the Palais Royale Salon in San Francisco. And the rest is history. Take a stroll through Wurlitzer's Jukebox Museum, and check out their 1950's promo film on jukebox manufacture: A Visit To Wurlitzer. Happy birthday, jukebox!

Perry Como: Juke Box Baby.
Richard Thompson: Jerusalem on the Jukebox.
Foreigner: Jukebox Hero. Complete with huge inflatable jukebox.
Alan Jackson: Don't Rock the Jukebox. "Play me a country song".

And then there's those collector folks who post videoclips of records spinning on their own jukeboxes, including this one of Canned Heat's Going Up the Country, complete with needle skips! And here's Perfidia by the Ventures, on someone's Wurlitzer 1800.
posted by flapjax at midnite (5 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
While I am in general more a fan of Rock-Ola machines, the original, postwar Wurlitzer 1015 Bubbler is wihout a doubt the one jukebox that rules all.
posted by three blind mice at 2:12 AM on November 23, 2007

Heh! Just noticed the typo in my FPP: it's supposed to be "Saloon", not "Salon".
posted by flapjax at midnite at 2:17 AM on November 23, 2007

"By 1889, Edison and Columbia started to sell musical recordings, due to the invention of Lewis Glass of The Pacific Phonograph Company in San Fransisco. Glass found that if you fitted the phonograph with a coin slot mechanism, enclosed it in an upright case, with listening tubes, that it would be popular to make money with. The coin slot machine made the rent of the phonograph justifiable (phonographs and Graphophones were rented, and rarely if ever sold, for a fee of $20.00 a year)! By 1893, the coin slot phonograph had spread all over the country, and the NACP branches, such as the Kansas, New Jersey and North American Phonograph Company of Chicago, started producing musical compositions, and comedic sketches on the cylinder records to fill the growing demand at the phonograph parlors, hotel lobbies and train stations, where phonographs could be found.

This was the birth of the music recording industry."

The above quote excerpted from this interesting site.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 2:36 AM on November 23, 2007

I'm with 3bm on this issue. That thing John Lennon had was an abomination.
posted by Reggie Digest at 4:11 AM on November 23, 2007

1970. Dawn in a small town in Iowa. Parents and I arrived home to a front yard filled with sleeping bags. In one was my brother, just old enough to have made the cut from the annual family vacation and now in deep trouble for having a party. But mom and dad were distracted by the lights. On the porch of our victorian, looking right at home thank you, stood the most beautiful thing in the world: a Wurlitzer bubbler, mint condition, he had bought at auction and still playing from a stack of 78s.

We were wandering the aftermath of perhaps the first rave (sorry) on record. Two things saved his ass: he had made an excellent buy (my parents were collectors), and the whole neighborhood had shown up, several thrilled to teach the young'uns how they danced back then.
posted by hal9k at 5:45 AM on November 23, 2007

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