Jukebox

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A Wurlitzer Zodiac 3500 jukebox
(1971)
Dscn2824-Wurlitzer-3500-Zodiac-On-Open.jpg
The jukebox when opened
Dscn2825-Wurlitzer-3500-Zodiac-internal-playing.jpg
The internal workings of the jukebox

A jukebox is a partially automated music-playing device, usually a coin-operated machine, that will play a patron's selection from self-contained media. The classic jukebox has buttons, with letters and numbers on them, which, when one of each group entered after each other, are used to select a specific record. Some may use Compact Discs instead. Disc changers are similar devices that are intended for home use, are small enough to fit in a shelf, may hold up to 400 discs, and allow discs to be easily removed, replaced, and inserted by the user.

Contents

History

Coin-operated music boxes and player pianos were the first forms of automated coin-operated musical devices. These devices used paper rolls, metal disks, or metal cylinders to play a musical selection on an actual instrument, or on several actual instruments, enclosed within the device.

In the 1890s, these devices were joined by machines which used recordings instead of actual physical instruments. [1] [2]

In 1890, Louis Glass and William S. Arnold invented the nickel-in-the-slot phonograph, the first of which was an Edison Class M Electric Phonograph retrofitted with a device patented under the name of Coin Actuated Attachment for Phonograph. The music was heard via one of four listening tubes. [3]

Early designs, upon receiving a coin, unlocked the mechanism, allowing the listener to turn a crank that simultaneously wound the spring motor and placed the reproducer's stylus in the starting groove.

Frequently, exhibitors would equip many of these machines with listening tubes (acoustic headphones) and array several of these machines in "phonograph parlors", allowing the patron to select between multiple records, each played on its own machine.

Some machines even contained carousels and other mechanisms for playing multiple records. Most machines were capable of holding only one musical selection, the automation coming from the ability to play that one selection at will.

In 1918, Hobart C. Niblack patented an apparatus that automatically changed records, leading to one of the first selective jukeboxes being introduced in 1927 by the Automated Musical Instrument Company, later known as AMI.

In 1928, Justus P. Seeburg, who was manufacturing player pianos, combined an electrostatic loudspeaker with a record player that was coin-operated. [4] This Audiophone machine was wide and bulky because it had eight separate turntables mounted on a rotating Ferris wheel-like device, allowing patrons to select from eight different records.

Later versions of the jukebox included Seeburg's Selectophone with 10 turntables mounted vertically on a spindle. By maneuvering the tone arm up and down, the customer could select from 10 different records. [3]

Many manufacturers produced jukeboxes, including: 1890s Wurlitzer, late 1920s Seeburg, 1930s "Rock-Ola" (whose name is actually based on that of the company founder, David Cullen Rockola), Sound Leisure, and Crosley.

Greater levels of automation were gradually introduced. As electrical recording and amplification improved there was increased demand for coin-operated phonographs.

The word "jukebox" came into use in the United States beginning in 1940, apparently derived from the familiar usage "juke joint", derived from the Gullah word "juke" or "joog", meaning disorderly, rowdy, or wicked. [5] As it applies to the 'use of a jukebox', the terms juking (verb) and juker (noun) are the correct expressions.

Styling progressed from the plain wooden boxes in the early thirties to beautiful light shows with marbleized plastic and color animation in the Wurlitzer 850 Peacock of 1941. But after the United States entered the war, metal and plastic were needed for the war effort. Jukeboxes were considered "nonessential", and none were produced until 1946. The 1942 Wurlitzer 950 featured wooden coin chutes to save on metal. At the end of the war, in 1946, jukebox production resumed and several "new" companies joined the fray. Jukeboxes started to offer visual attractions: bubbles, waves, and circles of changing color which came on when a sound was played.

Song-popularity counters told the owner of the machine the number of times each record was played (A and B side were generally not distinguished), with the result that popular records remained, while lesser-played songs could be replaced.

Tableside juke box 01.jpg
Seeburg Wall-o-Matic
tableside extension,
at Triple XXX, Issaquah, Washington
(2009)

Wallboxes were an important, and profitable, part of any jukebox installation. Serving as a remote control, they enabled patrons to select tunes from their table or booth. One example is the Seeburg 3W1, introduced in 1949 as companion to the 100-selection Model M100A jukebox. Stereo sound became popular in the early 1960s, and wallboxes of the era were designed with built-in speakers to provide patrons a sample of this latest technology.

Initially, jukeboxes playing recorded music were playing music recorded on wax cylinders. In the early part of the 20th century, the shellac 78 rpm record dominated jukeboxes.

In 1950, the Seeburg Corporation introduced an all 45 rpm vinyl record jukebox. Since the 45s were smaller and lighter, they soon became the dominant jukebox media for the last half of the 20th century.

33⅓ RPM, CDs, and videos on DVDs were all introduced and used in the last decades of the century. MP3 downloads, and Internet-connected media players came in at the start of the 21st century.

The jukebox's history has followed the wave of technological improvements in music reproduction and distribution. With its large speaker size, facilitating low-frequency (rhythm) reproduction, and large amplifier, the jukebox played sound with higher quality and volume than the listener could in his or her home, sometimes music with a "beat" (strong bass, made possible by the large speakers).

While often associated with early rock and roll music (which by at least one source is said to have begun in the mid 1940s), the popularity of jukeboxes extends back much earlier, including classical music, opera and the swing music era (originating in the 1930s).

Jukeboxes were most popular from the 1940s through the mid-1960s, particularly during the 1950s. By the middle of the 1940s, three-quarters of the records produced in America went into jukeboxes. [6] Billboard published a record chart measuring jukebox play during the 1950s, which briefly became a component of the Hot 100; by 1959, the jukebox's popularity had waned to the point where Billboard ceased publishing the chart and stopped collecting jukebox play data. [7]

In 1977, The Kinks recorded a song called "Juke Box Music" for their album Sleepwalker .

Orpheau - Sunflower Jukebox for 12" records Jukebox Mimosa Rouge Orpheau.jpg
Orphéau – Sunflower Jukebox for 12" records

Models designed and produced in the late 20th century needed more panel space for the increased number of record titles they needed to present for selection, reducing the space available for decoration, leading to less ornate styling in favor of functionality and less maintenance.

Two companies still[ when? ] manufacture classically styled jukeboxes: Rockola, based in California, and Sound Leisure, based in Leeds in the UK. Both companies manufacture jukeboxes based on a CD playing mechanism. However, in April 2016, Sound Leisure showed a prototype of a "Vinyl Rocket" at the UK Classic Car Show. It stated that it would start production of the 140 7" vinyl selector (70 records) in summer of the same year. [8] [9]

Since 2018, Orphéau, based in Brittany in France manufactures the original styled "Sunflower" Jukebox with the first 12" vinyl record selector (20 records), on both sides. [10]

Notable models

Wurlitzer 1015.jpg
Wurlitzer 1015
(1946)
(reproduction) , [11] in the
Hotel Nacional de Cuba,
Havana
Filben Maestro juke box 01.jpg
Filben FP-300 Maestro
(1948)
Seeburg Select-o-matic jukebox detail 01A.jpg
Seeburg Select-o-matic
(1949)

Decline

Traditional jukeboxes once were an important source of income for record publishers. Jukeboxes received the newest recordings first. They became an important market-testing device for new music, since they tallied the number of plays for each title. They offered a means for the listener to control the music outside of their home, before audio technology became portable. They played music on demand without commercials. They also offered the opportunity for high fidelity listening before home high fidelity equipment became affordable. [3]

The invention of the portable radio in the 1950s and the portable cassette tape deck in the 1960s were key factors in the decline of the jukebox. They enabled people to have their own selection of music with them, wherever they were. Jukeboxes became a dying industry during the 1970s, before being revived somewhat by compact disc jukeboxes during the 1980s and 1990s, followed by digital jukeboxes using the MP3 format. The greater selection and track length flexibility of digital jukeboxes offered more for the listener, with lower space requirements and operating costs making jukeboxes more attractive to establishment owners. While jukeboxes maintain popularity in bars, they have fallen out of favor with what were once their more lucrative locations—restaurants, diners, military barracks, video arcades, and laundromats.

In 1995, the United States Postal Service issued a 25-cent stamp commemorating the phonograph jukebox. [13]

Digital jukebox and apps

While the number of traditional jukeboxes has declined, digital jukeboxes, also called "social jukebox", have been introduced. [14]

Most of the digital jukebox services provide apps to request songs and use further features. Most are focused at the end-user and provide the guests of private events with the ability to collectively control the music.

Aiming at public venues, TouchTunes comes with a device most similar to a classic Jukebox, including a touch display to choose music and payment options.

Other services provide both the functionality to control the music at a public venue, to set up a private jukebox or provide wishlists to DJs and radio stations.

See also

Related Research Articles

Phonograph Device for playback of acoustic sounds stored as deviations on a disk or cylinder

A phonograph, in its later forms also called a gramophone or since the 1940s called a record player, is a device for the mechanical recording and reproduction of sound. The sound vibration waveforms are recorded as corresponding physical deviations of a spiral groove engraved, etched, incised, or impressed into the surface of a rotating cylinder or disc, called a "record". To recreate the sound, the surface is similarly rotated while a playback stylus traces the groove and is therefore vibrated by it, very faintly reproducing the recorded sound. In early acoustic phonographs, the stylus vibrated a diaphragm which produced sound waves which were coupled to the open air through a flaring horn, or directly to the listener's ears through stethoscope-type earphones.

Drum machine Electronic musical instrument that creates percussion sounds

A drum machine is an electronic musical instrument that creates percussion sounds, drum beats, and patterns. Drum machines may imitate drum kits or other percussion instruments, or produce unique sounds, such as synthesized electronic tones. Most modern drum machines allow users to program their own rhythms and beats. Drum machines may create sounds using analog synthesis or play prerecorded samples. Some drum machines have buttons or pads that allow the performer to play drum sounds "live", either on top of a programmed drum beat or as a standalone performance. Drum machines have a range of capabilities, which go from playing a short beat pattern in a loop, to being able to program or record complex song arrangements with changes of meter and style.

Phonograph cylinder Medium for recording and reproducing sound

Phonograph cylinders are the earliest commercial medium for recording and reproducing sound. Commonly known simply as "records" in their era of greatest popularity, these hollow cylindrical objects have an audio recording engraved on the outside surface, which can be reproduced when they are played on a mechanical cylinder phonograph. In the 1910s, the competing disc record system triumphed in the marketplace to become the dominant commercial audio medium.

Extended play Musical recording longer than a single, but shorter than a full album

An extended play, often referred to as an EP, or mini-album is a musical recording that contains more tracks than a single but is usually unqualified as an album or LP. Contemporary EPs generally contain a minimum of three tracks and maximum of six tracks, and are considered "less expensive and time-consuming" for an artist to produce than an album. An EP originally referred to specific types of vinyl records other than 78 rpm standard play (SP) and LP, but it is now applied to mid-length CDs and downloads as well.

Phonograph record Disc-shaped vinyl analog sound storage medium

A phonograph record, or simply a record, is an analog sound storage medium in the form of a flat disc with an inscribed, modulated spiral groove. The groove usually starts near the periphery and ends near the center of the disc. At first, the discs were commonly made from shellac, with earlier records having a fine abrasive filler mixed in. Starting in the 1940s polyvinyl chloride became common, hence the name vinyl. In the mid-2000s, gradually, records made of any material began to be called vinyl records, or simply vinyl.

Victor Talking Machine Company American record company and phonograph manufacturer headquartered in Camden, New Jersey

The Victor Talking Machine Company was an American record company and phonograph manufacturer headquartered in Camden, New Jersey.

Analog recording is a technique used for the recording of analog signals which, among many possibilities, allows analog audio for later playback.

Monaural

Monaural or monophonic sound reproduction is sound intended to be heard as if it were emanating from one position. This contrasts with stereophonic sound or stereo, which uses two separate audio channels to reproduce sound from two microphones on the right and left side, which is reproduced with two separate loudspeakers to give a sense of the direction of sound sources. In mono, only one loudspeaker is necessary, but, when played through multiple loudspeakers or headphones, identical signals are fed to each speaker, resulting in the perception of one-channel sound "imaging" in one sonic space between the speakers. Monaural recordings, like stereo ones, typically use multiple microphones fed into multiple channels on a recording console, but each channel is "panned" to the center. In the final stage, the various center-panned signal paths are usually mixed down to two identical tracks, which, because they are identical, are perceived upon playback as representing a single unified signal at a single place in the soundstage. In some cases, multitrack sources are mixed to a one-track tape, thus becoming one signal. In the mastering stage, particularly in the days of mono records, the one- or two-track mono master tape was then transferred to a one-track lathe intended to be used in the pressing of a monophonic record. Today, however, monaural recordings are usually mastered to be played on stereo and multi-track formats, yet retain their center-panned mono soundstage characteristics.

Album Collection of recorded music, words, sounds

An album is a collection of audio recordings issued as a collection on compact disc (CD), vinyl, audio tape, or another medium. Albums of recorded sound were developed in the early 20th century as individual 78-rpm records collected in a bound book resembling a photograph album; this format evolved after 1948 into single vinyl LP records played at ​33 13 rpm.

Unusual types of gramophone records

The overwhelming majority of records manufactured have been of certain sizes, playback speeds, and appearance. However, since the commercial adoption of the gramophone record, a wide variety of records have also been produced that do not fall into these categories, and they have served a variety of purposes.

Music box

A musical box is an automatic musical instrument in a box which produces musical notes by using a set of pins placed on a revolving cylinder or disc to pluck the tuned teeth of a steel comb. The earliest known mechanical musical instruments date back to 9th-century Baghdad. In Flanders, in the early 13th century, a bell ringer invented a cylinder with pins which operate cams, which then hit the bells. The popular device best known today as a "music box" developed from musical snuff boxes of the 18th century and were originally called carillons à musique. Some of the more complex boxes also contain a tiny drum and/or bells in addition to the metal comb.

Wurlitzer American company of music boxes and instruments

The Rudolph Wurlitzer Company, usually referred to as simply Wurlitzer, is an American company started in Cincinnati in 1853 by German immigrant (Franz) Rudolph Wurlitzer. The company initially imported stringed, woodwind and brass instruments from Germany for resale in the United States. Wurlitzer enjoyed initial success, largely due to defense contracts to provide musical instruments to the U.S. military. In 1880, the company began manufacturing pianos and eventually relocated to North Tonawanda, New York. It quickly expanded to make band organs, orchestrions, player pianos and pipe or theatre organs popular in theatres during the days of silent movies.

Sound recording and reproduction recording of sound and playing it back

Sound recording and reproduction is an electrical, mechanical, electronic, or digital inscription and re-creation of sound waves, such as spoken voice, singing, instrumental music, or sound effects. The two main classes of sound recording technology are analog recording and digital recording.

History of sound recording

The history of sound recording - which has progressed in waves, driven by the invention and commercial introduction of new technologies — can be roughly divided into four main periods:

Seeburg was an American design and manufacturing company of automated musical equipment, such as orchestrions, jukeboxes, and vending equipment. Prior to manufacturing their signature jukebox suite of products, Seeburg was considered to be one of the "big four" of the top coin-operated phonograph companies alongside AMI, Wurlitzer, and Rock-Ola. At the height of jukebox popularity, Seeburg machines were synonymous with the technology and a major quotidian brand of American teenage life. The company went out of business after being sold to Stern Electronics in 1982.

Rock-Ola

The Rock-Ola Manufacturing Corporation is an American developer and manufacturer of juke boxes and related machinery. It was founded in 1927 by Coin-Op pioneer David Cullen Rockola to manufacture slot machines, scales and pinball machines. The firm later produced parking meters, furniture, and firearms, but became best known for its jukeboxes.

LP record Analog sound storage medium

The LP is an analog sound storage medium, a phonograph record format characterized by a speed of ​33 13 rpm, a 12- or 10-inch diameter, and use of the "microgroove" groove specification. Introduced by Columbia in 1948, it was soon adopted as a new standard by the entire record industry. Apart from a few relatively minor refinements and the important later addition of stereophonic sound, it remained the standard format for record albums until its gradual replacement from the 1980s to the early 21st century, first by compact discs and then by streaming media.

Sound Leisure Ltd (SL) is a design and manufacturing company based in Leeds, UK. The company has several divisions and product ranges but is known most commonly for their production of jukeboxes

Seeburg 1000

The Seeburg 1000 Background Music System is a phonograph designed and built by the Seeburg Corporation to play background music from special 16​23 RPM vinyl records in offices, restaurants, retail businesses, factories and similar locations. It provided a service similar to that of Muzak.

Music technology (electric)

Electric music technology refers to musical instruments and recording devices that use electrical circuits, which are often combined with mechanical technologies. Examples of electric musical instruments include the electro-mechanical electric piano, the electric guitar, the electro-mechanical Hammond organ and the electric bass. All of these electric instruments do not produce a sound that is audible by the performer or audience in a performance setting unless they are connected to instrument amplifiers and loudspeaker cabinets, which made them sound loud enough for performers and the audience to hear. Amplifiers and loudspeakers are separate from the instrument in the case of the electric guitar, electric bass and some electric organs and most electric pianos. Some electric organs and electric pianos include the amplifier and speaker cabinet within the main housing for the instrument.

References

  1. Athitakis, Mark (1 December 1999). "Riff Raff: Jukebox hero and Gordon Dorsey". SF Weekly.
  2. Great Geek Manual – Glass/Arnold patents
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Weiss, Brett (15 October 2010). "Rock on with vintage jukeboxes". Antique Week.
  4. Carlisle, Rodney (2004). Scientific American Inventions and Discoveries . Hoboken, NJ: Wiley. ISBN   0-471-24410-4.
  5. "Juke house". Dictionary.com.
  6. Cowen, Tyler (2000). In Praise of Commercial Culture. Harvard University Press. pp. 164, 166. ISBN   0-674-00188-5.
  7. Molanphy, Chris (1 August 2013). "How The Hot 100 Became America's Hit Barometer". All Things Considered. NPR. Retrieved 14 March 2018.
  8. Miller, Norman (11 May 2016). "Why fans of vintage vinyl love this brand-new machine". BBC Capital.
  9. "Classic Jukeboxes". SoundLeisure.
  10. "Matthieu Defoly invente le jukebox nouvelle génération – Le Journal des Entreprises – Ille-et-Vilaine". Le Journal des Entreprises (in French). Retrieved 18 November 2020.
  11. 1 2 "Wurlitzer 1015". Picollecta. Archived from the original on 14 January 2015. Retrieved 14 January 2015.
  12. Durox, Par Solenne; à 11h55, correspondante en BretagneLe 24 décembre 2019 (24 December 2019). "Bretagne : le jukebox remis au goût du jour par un Rennais". leparisien.fr (in French). Retrieved 18 November 2020.
  13. "Stamp Series". United States Postal Service. Archived from the original on 10 August 2013. Retrieved 2 September 2013.
  14. France, Jasmine. "Create jukebox playlists before hitting the town". cnet. Retrieved 3 August 2016.