From Dead Media Archive
Jump to: navigation, search
Rock-Ola Jukebox Model 1422 (1946) See Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zYYbcGkFC50

"For a century now, the jukebox has been a fixture of popular culture in our land. In restaurants, diners, and clubs across our country, jukeboxes have long provided patrons with music for dining and dancing. The jukebox is to many a symbol of good, clean fun. It is also an inexpensive source of entertainment for young and old alike, and a treasury of memories for listeners of every generation. The centennial of the jukebox now gives all of us an excellent opportunity to celebrate its enduring place in American life. "

- Ronald Reagan, U.S. President, November 3, 1988, Proclamation 5896 National Jukebox Week 1988

A jukebox is a coin operated phonograph, housed in a decorative cabinet, and equipped with push button numbers and letters by which a customer selects songs from an array of either 45 or 78 rpm vinyl records. The jukebox played an integral role in the 20th century American music industry and American popular culture and is an internationally recognized symbol of Americana.


A 1896 phonograph parlor in San Francisco. Small towels were used by each customer to wipe off their ear tubes.

On November 23, 1889, Louis Glass placed the first nickel-in-the-slot phonograph machine in the Palais Royale Saloon in San Francisco. Along with partner William S. Arnold, Glass had invented an attachment for the recently adopted phonograph machine that would play one wax cylinder record through stethoscope-style earphones upon insertion of a five-cent piece (Athitakis 1). In the days before widespread use of home phonographs, the device took off immediately. The Palais Royale had lines out the door, and by 1891 Glass joined up with Felix Gottschalk of the Automatic Exhibition Company in New York to market the device nation-wide (Segrave 5). Though Thomas Edison’s North American Phonograph Company owned 15,000 shares of Automatic, the most profitable users of his invention, he openly expressed the sentiment that the device degraded his efforts to make the phonograph a business instrument for serious and important men (6).

Phonograph parlors became popular in cities worldwide. Vitascope Hall in Buffalo , New York contained 28 Edison machines. In Paris, Pathé: Le Salon du Phonographie, near Place Pigalle, employed about 40 employees to sit in the basement and play selections vocalized through speaking tubes by patrons seated in front of coin-in the-slots on desks upstairs (Krivine 14). At Pathé a customer could chose from a selection of 1,500 wax cylinder records. In 1906 the Gabel Automatic Entertainer became the first of these music machines to offer customers more than one record selection and utilized new ten-inch disk recordings. Machines like this dominated the coin-operated phonograph market for the next twenty years (Lynch 8).

Pathé:Le Café du Phonographie, Paris

Coin-in-the-slot players were popular in phonograph parlors and arcades of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, yet while the machines could elicit great personal enjoyment, a lack of amplification precluded them from replacing the live music preferred in public settings. Improved player pianos and other automatic instruments could provide tunes above the hum of a crowd without employing musicians (Segrave 21). In the early 20th century the Edison phonograph was less expensive and more aggressively marketed for home use, meaning that more people could listen to recorded music at home. Increasingly, people went to the Cinema for entertainment outside of the home, shunning arcades and phonograph cafes (25). The advent of radio meant that people could get a constant steam of free auditory entertainment with one purchase. Prohibition also meant reduced venues for early coin-operated music machines; speakeasies were unlikely to have devices as expensive equipment might be confiscated in raids (39). While the machines graced the corners of some neighborhood bars and taverns, they were few in number compared to their future.


Mills Empress Model Jukebox (1939)

Though radio was the coin-operated phonograph’s entertainment competitor, the industry also led the way for phonographs in amplification technology. Borrowing the innovations of radio and new electronically amplified instruments, the Automatic Music Company (AMI) introduced the first electronically amplified multi-selection phonograph in 1927 (Krivine 8). In the same period records became cheaper to produce and more durable. The Depression soon meant that very few could afford home phonographs or records. Now large crowds might be entertained with the newest popular music for just a nickel. In 1934 the top American manufacturers: AMI, Mills, Seeburg and Wurlitzer manufactured 18,000 machines and by 1937 210,000 jukeboxes were produced in the United States (Segrave 48). By 1940 Variety reported that the coin phonograph industry was worth one hundred and fifty million dollars (49).

Race and Etymology

The jukebox was not widely referred to by that name until the late 1930s. Dispute concerning the origins of the term jukebox highlights racial tensions in the American music industry and the popular evolution of a term apart from commercial use. The current Oxford English Dictionary cites juke as an abbreviation of the terms juke-joint or juke-house and defines it as “ A roadhouse or brothel…a cheap roadside establishment providing food and drinks, and music for dancing.” Early literary references, beginning with Zora Neale Hurston’s 1935 Mules and Men more explicitly refer to rural southern saloons frequented by black field workers. To juke means to dance, particularly at one of these establishments (O.E.D.). Where the word originally came from is debatable, but contemporary popular consensus is that it likely meant “to dance” in Gullah, a creole language combining English and African dialects spoken by African Americans in the Southern coastal United States (Segrave 18).

Juke-joint, Louisiana, 1944

Author Kerry Segrave quotes a Tallahassee, Florida jukebox operator in 1939. “Somebody called the automatic machine a jook organ (don’t ask me why) and the name stuck. Before long the dime and dance places became jook joints" (17). Around the same time another Florida operator wrote to Billboard magazine expressing hopes that the term would fall out of favor. He believed that the term conjured notions of low class institutions of “the cheaper variety” (“Why are phonos called juke organs?” 69). Southern jukebox operators seemed most uncomfortable with the term, but the coin-operated music machine industry as a whole attempted to fight its popular usage through the 1950s. Magazines that allied themselves with the industry also kept from using the term. In 1946 AMI vice president De Witt Eaton sent a memo asking employees to refrain from use of the term and to use “music vendor” instead (17). In this war of words, the “music machine” industry couldn’t win. The term was used by the mainstream press by 1940. Once the term jukebox was adopted by the public, its usage became impossible to forestall. In 1971, Fred Granger, an executive with the trade group, Music Operators of America described the futility of attempts to use other terminology, commenting that each time he talked to someone outside the industry and mentioned the machines using any other wording “…you almost always end up with the person saying ‘Oh you’re talking about jukeboxes"(19). The industry eventually accepted the wording, but disowned its origins; various jukebox company documents from the 1940s claim to trace juke to European origins with Vienna and Elizabethean English serving as hypothesized birthplaces (Botts 3).

Bessie Smith, 1937

While the automatic music machine industry of the 1930s and 40s spurned the term jukebox because they didn’t want their machine associated with African-Americans, their bigotry was directed at many of their best, early adopting customers and the musicians who accounted for their machine’s success. When amplified jukeboxes began to appear in the late 1920s they were an ideal vehicle for records by black artists. Radio provided free music, but in attempts to align itself with “high culture” of the time eschewed both rhythm and blues and country music (Lynch 10). Rhythm and blues records were the only genre not to see a drastic slump during the Depression and a common rumor held that Bessie Smith kept Columbia Records afloat during the 1930s (Segrave 45). Thus Southern juke joints were the most common homes of early jukeboxes (hence the name) and operator Meyer Parkoff recalled that Harlem was the biggest market for jukeboxes before the repeal of Prohibition (46).

In providing a means by which the American public could listen to both Rhythm and Blues and Country or Hillbilly music the jukebox helped to popularize these predecessors to Rock n’ Roll. Industry insiders believed that people purchased different music to listen to in their private homes than what they would listen to in public spaces for dancing and drinking (101). Loud guitar and drum heavy tunes were most popular for the jukebox and the record companies eventually came to realize the value of black artists making that kind of music. Brunswick records founded the Vocalian records label in order to make music box hits by African-American artists. Blues musicians like Muddy Waters and Tampa Red garnered little mainstream radio play, but made jukebox hits (Lynch 10).

The Record Industry

Bing Crosby Wurlitzer Advertisement 1938

In 1934 jukeboxes first received their own section in Billboard, which expanded to a regular section of ten to twenty pages within the year (Segrave 46). The record industry and the jukebox industry came to depend on each other in the mid- 1930s. Decca records emerged in 1934 determined to sell popular music on thirty-five cent disks against the industry standard of seventy five cents, a huge boon to records sales (49). Jukebox operators could purchase records wholesale at a cost of twenty one cents per disk (50). Jukebox operators relied on the recommendations of Billboard and Variety magazines who published lists based on radio and sheet music popularity, naming the songs they deemed current and future jukebox hits (53). The record industry took in six million dollars in 1933 and thirteen million dollars in 1937. The jukebox was the undoubted catalyst for industry growth. Jukeboxes sold so many records that recording artists like Artie Shaw and Bing Cosby aligned themselves with the industry and appeared in industry ads in order to aid record sales. An editorial in the Evening Star Telegram of Superior, Wisconsin recounted the report of Nellie Taylor Ross, secretary of the U.S. Mint, that coin mintage was behind schedule. The paper, as well as Mrs. Ross attributed the coin-shortage to the mass popularity of the automatic phonograph (100). Coin-operated phonographs not only provided a huge market for LP’s, but allowed individuals a means of sampling records that they might purchase for home-use. The record industry came to rely on the jukebox industry until the 1960s.

The Mob

Film stills: The Girl Can't Help It (1956)

Prohibition may have been a large factor in increasing jukebox sales, but it was also the means by which racketeers began to run coin-operated equipment (127). Jukebox operating was a strictly cash business (Krivine 121). In 1943 the Chicago Crime Commission urged a grand jury to investigate the jukebox trade claiming that organized crime and prominent politicians were in cahoots to control the industry (Segrave 164). In 1943 Meyer Lanksy and Ed Smith took over Wurlitzer, America’s most powerful jukebox company. Lansky was a well- known figure in the organized crime world, who acted as the mob’s chief banker and helped to create the mob’s assassination department Murder Inc.(165). The 1956 Jayne Mansfield film The Girl Can’t Help presented a character named “Legs” Wheeler, the jukebox king, who controls the jukeboxes in four major cities and refuses to play the music of Mansfield’s character, Jerry Jordan, produced by her ex-convict boyfriend Fats Murdock. When Murdock wins an underworld jukebox war Jerry Jordan becomes a music star despite an overt lack of musical talent. Whether or not the jukebox industry was ever really controlled by organized crime, it was a popular belief throughout the era of the successful jukebox industry.

Smut and Silence

Since the early days of the coin-operated phonograph industry, company owners were concerned with censorship. Their machines were coin operated, which they believed might associate them with the slot machines and gambling operations being restricted by new local and federal regulations. Throughout their prevalence, jukebox manufacturers warned box operators from loading machines with music that might be considered “smut” or from playing machines too loudly or late at night. As late as 1967 disks such as “Sock It To Me Baby” by Mitch Ryder and “Let’s Spend the Night Together” by the Rolling Stones were seen as problematic for the industry who hoped for a squeaky-clean image (Segrave 275). National Arts Foundation Director Carleton Smith argued that silence had become a pricey luxury item in 1953 and that respite from noise was “necessary to enjoy music.” Smith urged jukebox operators to “please include a blank disk in all boxes so that listeners can buy five minutes of silence (227).

Patriotism and War

1943 Wurlitzer Ad

Jukebox company owners like David Rockola referred to their music machines as “real American entertainment” and strove for a wholesome, patriotic image in their fight against lewd music on their machines and increased this line of reasoning with the approach of World War II in the 1940s (57). In 1940, Wurlitzer executive Homer Capehart said jukeboxes “can now become a great and timely answer to any despoilers of our ideals- of our liberty" (128). Patriotic tunes like Kate Smith’s God Bless America garnered widespread popularity on jukeboxes. In 1943, the New York Herald Tribune applauded the jukebox for promoting patriotic songs like “Remember Pearl Harbor” and “Goodbye Mamma, I’m Off to Yokohama” (130). Some jukebox operators advertised war bonds on the fronts of their machines. One account claimed that the “well known roles of the juke in wartime included boosting the morale of both workers and fighting forces, quickening the step of all who hear martial music, and selling war bonds (131).” Jukeboxes became the center of USO centers throughout the country and the world and letters home from soldiers, some published in national and local newspapers expressed nostalgia for the jukebox music of home. Singer Marian Anderson said that modern jukebox music was creating “raw material for truly great American music (150).” Jukebox manufacturing was suspended for the war effort in May of 1942, but existing machines were restored and the truly broken were scrapped for parts. During World War II the jukebox became an emblem of American popular music.


Teenagers crowd a Wurlitzer Jukebox Model 850

Another World War II phenomena was a newfound prevalence of juvenile delinquency, at least as perceived by the media of the time. With fathers off at war and mothers at work for the war effort, teenagers ran wild. The jukebox industry saw a wonderful opportunity. In a seemingly brilliant PR move , the jukebox industry presented itself as the wholesome solution to teenage malaise. “Teenagers, jukeboxes, and delinquency came together in the 1940s, in reality, in the media, and in the public consciousness… jukeboxes were seen as a force in reducing delinquency among teenagers" (Segrave 142). The jukebox successfully became integral to a spate of teen entertainment centers opening around the country to keep adolescents off the streets. Billboard editor William Hurd believed that the “jukebox trade should begin at once to make the teen age club idea its permanent civic project" (145). At a meeting of the National Conference of Catholic Charities in 1944 it was asserted that these teen centers were a tool for saving a lost generation of youth (147). One hundred and thirty of these teen clubs with jukeboxes opened in Detroit in one month.

The jukebox succeeded in becoming a symbol of wholesome American adolescence. Jukeboxes were central to the teen clubs, soda fountains, and 24-hour diners in which American teenagers wiled away their time from the 1940s and 50s through the end of the 20th century. The machines were the centerpiece of the sock-hop and drive-in culture of the 1950s and 60s later immortalized in films like American Graffitti (1973) and television shows like Happy Days (1974). Music has always been central to the American teenage experience and the jukebox provided a means by which teenagers could listern to favorite songs away from their parents, out loud with their friends. Jukeboxes stayed in iconic pop-culture teen hangouts throughout the 1980s and 90s, situated in the corner of television sets like 90210’s “The Peach Pit” (1990).

Around the World

Men flank a jukebox in Malaysia (1956)

In 1954, sixteen percent of American-made jukeboxes were shipped somewhere overseas (Segrave 245). Jukebox exports increased in the early 1950s. Outdated American units were shipped overseas in mass quantities once they could be replaced with the commencement of post-war production. Canada, Mexico, South, and Central America were historically the best markets for jukeboxes (247). Jukes reportedly became quite popular in Japan in 1952, when they were placed at the main entrances to department stores. The Japanese market was limited, however, because of a lack of Japanese coins. At the time only five and ten yen pieces existed (equivalent to twenty five cents and a dollar fifty) (251). Germany and Denmark enjoyed American exports so much that they started their own jukebox industries in the 1950s. Jukebox trade was banned from certain countries because of trade embargoes, coin shortages, or political unrest. One sentiment expressed at a May Day 1953 rally in Juarez, Mexico was anti-jukebox; a sign, directed at the governer read “Two thousand musicians support your administration. Keep jukeboxes out of Mexico" (251). By 1955 jukeboxes played in at least 40 countries. Hungary had only one jukebox in 1958, which was owned by the state and usually booked hours in advance (255). Exports remained strong even while domestic sales dwindled through the 1960s. Jukeboxes brought American music overseas and were a symbol of American life internationally. Some countries sought to rid themselves of that influence. In 1961 Thai premier Sarit Thanarat banned jukeboxes in Bangkok. He thought students were wasting their time listening to American music, which could destroy Thai culture and traditions (289). Around the same time Bulgaria banned jazz records and attempted to replace popular jukebox titles with “good communist music" (Segrave 289). Exports remained strong throughout the lifetime of the industry, but were never its lifeblood. Germany and England came to compete with American makers in the European industry of the 1950s and beyond, but the iconic American jukeboxes of the 1940s and 50s remain synonymous with American music worldwide.


"Radiating colored light and with every surface highly decorated they stood as modern sculpture, with the added dimension that through sound, they had the potential to alter the ambiance of a room"

- The Ultimate Jukebox Guide, 1994

A Wurlitzer 1015: For video of the its' automatic lights see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zb6IIKI_8tc, for close-ups of its' bubble tubes and mechanics see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ernTG8GPORQ

Jukeboxes were advanced technological devices for their time, but many of them were also magnificent decorative art objects. The early jukeboxes of the 1930s and 40s reflected art deco design trends in wood, glass and the latest plastics. Designers showcased the mechanical works of changing and playing records through clear glass windows, by which fascinated customers watched the inner workings of the devices. Lights and other novelties were added in the 1930s. Wurlitzer was the most iconic box maker, creator of the Model 1015, the most popular of the era. Though jukeboxes became less decorative and more utilitarian as they came to hold 100s of records, it is the jukeboxes of the industry’s golden age in the 1930s and 40s that are remembered, treasured, and collected today, and which impacted American design in general.

Golden Light Up Years

The Wurlizter Model 24 was the first jukebox to offer customers twenty-four musical selections as opposed to twelve or sixteen choices, but more importantly, it was the first jukebox with illuminated plastics in its design. The Wurlitzer Company moved away from the heavy wooden designs that they had used in the past to bright art deco models designed by Paul Fuller, their head of design and the most important jukebox designer in the history of the industry. The 1930s soon became an industry competition for the most whimsical design and most creative use of lighting. While AMI, Mills, and Seeburg all stayed in the game, creating stunning light up boxes, none could keep up with Fuller’s work at Wurlitzer. Fuller developed light up tubes through which bubbles and other patterns would rotate when Wurlitzer jukes were used. Fuller also incorporated lights to change colors in accordance with the music played on some models. The Wurlitzer Model 850 had a deco peacock design and a combination of bright lights encased in plastic and polarized film. The film interacted with the lights to create a prism effect and change colors as disks spun. The Wurlitzer Model 1015 sold fifty six thousand units between 1946 and 1947. The 1015 was equipped with bubble tubes, plastic light tubes, and automatic changing colored lights. A national ad campaign for the model declared, “Wurlitzer is Jukebox” (Lynch 60). The campaign and the jukeboxes were a hit; Wurlitzer became a popular American synonym for jukebox.

Wurlitzer Model 1100, the last jukebox designed by Paul Fuller in 1948., See Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yzS0_6Rs5AE

At the same time that Wurlitzer competed to have the best lights and the latest gimmicks, the company also competed to break into markets that didn’t appreciate gaudy, colored lights in their establishments. Up-scale nightclubs, hotels and lounges weren’t much receptive to the jukebox in the 1930s, as they preferred live orchestras and considered the machines somewhat déclassé (Segrave 72). In 1941, Wurlitzer introduced the Model 780, referred to as the “Colonial” model. The Colonial featured a central wagon wheel and wooden body. The showpiece was supposed to fit into more conservative establishments that favored early American design styles. A later Wurlitzer model, the 1080, featuring engraved mirrors and muted colors, was created with the same intentions as the 780 (Lynch 76). While jukeboxes did entertain audiences between orchestra numbers in some nicer clubs and cocktail lounges, the jukebox found its real home in neighborhood bars and twenty-four hour restaurants and remained there, where it could make the largest number of nickels. Jukebox makers attempted to break into the upscale market again in the market decline of the 1970s using all wooden models like the Rock-Ola 456 which featured a landscape painting inside its’ cabinet (Krivine 148). Similar 1970s Wurlitzer models featured paintings of ballet dancers and orchestras in attempts to lure high-class clientele through images of high-culture. These attempts always failed and the colored light up models were most successful and enduring.

Wurlitzer Colonial Model


Jukeboxes were surely influenced by overall American design trends of their period of manufacture, but jukeboxes themselves had an enduring impact on the design of American or Americana themed restaurants as well. The jukebox found its most profitable home in 24-hour restaurants where it could be continuously utilized. Howard Johnson’s was the first chain restaurant to equip all locations with jukeboxes in 1937 (Segrave 71). Often chrome or wooden selection boxes and speakers were placed on each table, so diners could communicate their choices to the jukebox from their seats. Jukeboxes became the centerpiece of such establishments in the 1940s and 50s and establishments began to decorate themselves around the modern musical sculptures. Diner and drive-in designs of the 1950s took the materials, lines and colors of jukebox chrome and tube lights for their own interior and exterior designs. If diners might be seen as living rooms, then jukeboxes could be viewed as ornate decorative hearths, and the rest of the room was designed to highlight their beauty and central function. Diners serving hamburgers, fries and milkshakes became the iconic American restaurant solidifying the aesthetics of the light up jukebox era as a part of classic American design. Toady, chain restaurants playing on American nostalgia for the simpler time of the 1950s like Johnny Rocket’s likely have a vintage jukebox and always owe a part of their interior design to the jukebox masterpieces of the chrome and light up era.

Mel's Drive In: The iconic restaurant in American Graffitti (1973) and a contemporary west-coast burger chain banking on 1950s nostalgia.

On Film

As early as 1935 Billboard magazine suggested that the jukebox industry utilize the movie industry, arbiter of popular fashion and taste, in order to market itself (Segrave 79). In a promotional effort a Wurlitzer was installed in the lodgings of the cast and crew of the 1937 film The Barrier. Reflecting American and international life, jukeboxes began to appear in a tremendous number of films of the 1940s and 50s and throughout the 20th century. The use of jukeboxes on film highlights some of the most important features of the machinery. Jukeboxes allow a customer to chose a song they want to hear and play that tune aloud in whatever setting they are in, to a public audience. Jukebox patrons can play volunteer disk jockey for as long their change lasts. In 20th century American film, characters used the jukebox to get a crowd dancing, to dedicate a love song to a beloved, or to chose a song to reflect their own emotional state. In 1966’s Whose Afraid of Virginia Wolf Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton play a highly dysfunctional married couple who stop, start, and change the songs on a jukebox to curtail each other’s behavior (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lz1MpQ0n_ag). The jukebox trope became so common in American movies that it was satirized in 1998’s Dirty Work starring Chris Farley. Farley attempts to select the right jukebox tune for a brawl, but pushes an incorrect button, choosing a comically inappropriate song for fighting (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ud71mm2TxP4). Jukeboxes were an integral part of 20th century American life, readily providing pop music, but also allowing individuals to control what song was played out loud, controlling the ambiance of any bar or restaurant that owned a juke. American film of the 20th century used the jukebox to assert character control over film soundtracks, and depicted what an integral part of American life the jukebox had become.

Fade Out, Nostalgia, Collecting

Before the jukebox even began to fade from popular use, it was celebrated nostalgically. The May 23,1953 issue of Billboard was dedicated to the sixty-fifth anniversary of the jukebox (Segrave 239). The celebration may have initially been a marketing ploy, but the American public was already sentimental enough about jukeboxes that it was a success. A year later Arkansas Governer Francis Cherry declared the week beginning May 24 “National Jukebox Week”( 239). Jukeboxes received a weeklong national celebration in 1988 when then president Ronald Reagan declared October 30th to November 5th “National Jukebox Week.” Whether it was real war efforts to boost morale and curb juvenile delinquency that cemented the jukebox’s honor in American pop history or just the success of savvy patriotic marketing campaigns might never be truly illuminated, but whatever the jukebox did right, from the 1940s onward it has held a special place in American memory and imagination.

Wurlitzer Statesman Model Jukebox: Mid 1960s

In the 1960s and 70s sleeker jukeboxes designed with less decoration and more storage room were the newer models on the market. While teen hangouts and taverns were still buying jukes on occasion, the market was dying. Lowered costs for home phonographs and LPs in the 50s and 60s meant that more people preferred to listen to music at home. The folk and rock music, increasingly popular in the 1960s and 70s, just wasn’t suitable to the public jukebox. By the early 1980s restaurants mainly wished to control their own music and the cassette tape began to take over. CD jukeboxes were created and are still in use but aren’t housed in the same decorative cabinets and provide customers no record changing mechanics to watch. Today the jukebox is an object of nostalgia, vigorously collected by enthusiasts and placed in various establishments to recall the ambiance of their heyday. In the 1980s jukebox collecting became a popular pastime for layman and music industry insiders alike. Jukeboxes and parts were vigorously traded and discussed in forums like the Jukebox Collector’s Newsletter. Today, hundreds of jukebox forums and dealers exist on the internet. Wurlitzer was purchased by the Gibson Guitar Company, who still manufacture jukebox replicas that play CDs and MP3s and maintain a web museum dedicated to the premier jukebox company (http://www.gibson.com/Products/Wurlitzer/Jukebox%20Museum/).

Metaphors and New Forms

Today many objects or systems are compared to the jukebox, often taking on its name. The “celestial jukebox” is a term used to refer to a system envisioned by Paul Goldstein wherein all music, movies and entertainment would be stored on some device (likely a giant satellite) and could be accessed by users at any time by the press of a button (Auslander 77). While here the term describes jukebox-like customer selection, an inherent and important fact of the jukebox was the limited song selection carefully chosen by a jukebox operator or establishment proprietor. Apple I-Tunes programs or the I-Pod, particularly the shuffle function might resemble the jukebox in some manner, but they are personal devices purchased by individuals for private use. Compilation CDs are often titled with names like “Jukebox of 70s” or “Country Hits Jukebox” referring to a grouping of hit songs. Other commercial products that play music like the “Samsung Juke” a cellular telephone borrow jukebox terminology. The Karaoke machine is likely the real child of the jukebox (some jukes were even equipped with mircro-phones in the 1940s, but never succeeded). The success of the jukebox in Japan likely paved the way for the proliferation of Karaoke (Hesselink 49). However, the jukebox, prime source of American music for much of the 20th century, housed in an ornate cabinet, with mechanical workings lit for the curious customer in a popular public setting is a unique and fascinating object which has ceased to exist.

Top-10-All-Time Jukebox Hit Singles

1. Hound Dog, Elvis Presley, RCA, 1955

2. Crazy, Patsy Cline, Decca 1961

3. Old Time Rock & Roll, Bob Seger, Capitol, 1979

4. I Heard It Through The Grapevine, Marvin Gaye, Tamla, 1968

5. Don't Be Cruel, Elvis Presley, RCA, 1956

6. Rock Around The Clock, Bill Haley & His Comets, Decca, 1955

7. Hey Jude, The Beatles, Capitol, 1968

8. The Dock of The Bay, Otis Redding, Volt, 1968

9. Lady, Kenny Rogers, United Artists, 1980

10. Cherry Pink & Apple Blossom White, Perez Prado, RCA, 1955

Works Cited

Athitakis, Mark. “Riff Raff.” San Francisco Weekly. Wednesday, Dec. 1, 1999: 1-2

Auslinder, Philip “Looking at Records.” TDR. Vol. 45. No. 1, 2001:77-83

Botts, Rick A Complete Identification Guide to the Wurlitzer Jukebox. Des Moines, Iowa: Jukebox Collector Newsletter, 1984

Dawson, Jim and Steve Propes 45 RPM: The History, Heroes & Villians of a Pop Music Revolution. San Francisco: Backbeat Books, 2003.

Hesselink, Nathan "Kotta and Karaoke in Modern Japan: A Blurring of the Distinction between Umgangsmusik and Darbietungsmusik" British Journal of Ethnomusicology, Vol. 3, 1994. 46-61.

Herzog, Amy Dreams Of Difference, Songs of the Same: The Musical Moment in Film. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2010.

Krivine, J. Juke Box Saturday Night. Secaucus, N.J.: Chartwell Books Inc., 1977

Lynch, Vincent and Bill Henkin Jukebox The Golden Age: 1937-1948. Berkeley, CA: Lancaster-Miller, 1981.

Segrave, Kerry Jukeboxes: An American Social History. Jefferson, N.C.: Mc Farland & Company Inc., Publishers, 2002.

Steffen, David J. From Edison to Marconi: The First Thirty Years of Recorded Music. Jefferson, N.C.: Mc Farland & Company, Inc., Publishers, 2005.

“Further analysis cues jukebox take nearer $150,000,000 a year.” Variety August 21, 1940: 49+

“juke n.,v.” Oxford English Dictionary Additions Series. 1997. O.E.D. Online. 23. Mar. 2000 <http://dictionary.oed.com/cgi/entry/00130764>.

“Why are phonos called juke organs?” Billboard February 24,1940: 69