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For other uses, see Jukebox (disambiguation). Jukebox_sentence_0

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. Jukebox_sentence_1

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. Jukebox_sentence_2

Some may use Compact Discs instead. Jukebox_sentence_3

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. Jukebox_sentence_4

History Jukebox_section_0

Coin-operated music boxes and player pianos were the first forms of automated coin-operated musical devices. Jukebox_sentence_5

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. Jukebox_sentence_6

In the 1890s, these devices were joined by machines which used recordings instead of actual physical instruments. Jukebox_sentence_7

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. Jukebox_sentence_8

The music was heard via one of four listening tubes. Jukebox_sentence_9

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. Jukebox_sentence_10

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. Jukebox_sentence_11

Some machines even contained carousels and other mechanisms for playing multiple records. Jukebox_sentence_12

Most machines were capable of holding only one musical selection, the automation coming from the ability to play that one selection at will. Jukebox_sentence_13

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. Jukebox_sentence_14

In 1928, Justus P. Seeburg, who was manufacturing player pianos, combined an electrostatic loudspeaker with a record player that was coin-operated. Jukebox_sentence_15

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. Jukebox_sentence_16

Later versions of the jukebox included Seeburg's Selectophone with 10 turntables mounted vertically on a spindle. Jukebox_sentence_17

By maneuvering the tone arm up and down, the customer could select from 10 different records. Jukebox_sentence_18

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. Jukebox_sentence_19

Greater levels of automation were gradually introduced. Jukebox_sentence_20

As electrical recording and amplification improved there was increased demand for coin-operated phonographs. Jukebox_sentence_21

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. Jukebox_sentence_22

As it applies to the 'use of a jukebox', the terms juking (verb) and juker (noun) are the correct expressions. Jukebox_sentence_23

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. Jukebox_sentence_24

But after the United States entered the war, metal and plastic were needed for the war effort. Jukebox_sentence_25

Jukeboxes were considered "nonessential", and none were produced until 1946. Jukebox_sentence_26

The 1942 Wurlitzer 950 featured wooden coin chutes to save on metal. Jukebox_sentence_27

At the end of the war, in 1946, jukebox production resumed and several "new" companies joined the fray. Jukebox_sentence_28

Jukeboxes started to offer visual attractions: bubbles, waves, and circles of changing color which came on when a sound was played. Jukebox_sentence_29

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. Jukebox_sentence_30

Wallboxes were an important, and profitable, part of any jukebox installation. Jukebox_sentence_31

Serving as a remote control, they enabled patrons to select tunes from their table or booth. Jukebox_sentence_32

One example is the Seeburg 3W1, introduced in 1949 as companion to the 100-selection Model M100A jukebox. Jukebox_sentence_33

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. Jukebox_sentence_34

Initially, jukeboxes playing recorded music were playing music recorded on wax cylinders. Jukebox_sentence_35

In the early part of the 20th century, the shellac 78 rpm record dominated jukeboxes. Jukebox_sentence_36

In 1950, the Seeburg Corporation introduced an all 45 rpm vinyl record jukebox. Jukebox_sentence_37

Since the 45s were smaller and lighter, they soon became the dominant jukebox media for the last half of the 20th century. Jukebox_sentence_38

33⅓ RPM, CDs, and videos on DVDs were all introduced and used in the last decades of the century. Jukebox_sentence_39

MP3 downloads, and Internet-connected media players came in at the start of the 21st century. Jukebox_sentence_40

The jukebox's history has followed the wave of technological improvements in music reproduction and distribution. Jukebox_sentence_41

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). Jukebox_sentence_42

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). Jukebox_sentence_43

Jukeboxes were most popular from the 1940s through the mid-1960s, particularly during the 1950s. Jukebox_sentence_44

By the middle of the 1940s, three-quarters of the records produced in America went into jukeboxes. Jukebox_sentence_45

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. Jukebox_sentence_46

In 1977, The Kinks recorded a song called "Juke Box Music" for their album Sleepwalker. Jukebox_sentence_47

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. Jukebox_sentence_48

Two companies still manufacture classically styled jukeboxes: Rockola, based in California, and Sound Leisure, based in Leeds in the UK. Jukebox_sentence_49

Both companies manufacture jukeboxes based on a CD playing mechanism. Jukebox_sentence_50

However, in April 2016, Sound Leisure showed a prototype of a "Vinyl Rocket" at the UK Classic Car Show. Jukebox_sentence_51

It stated that it would start production of the 140 7" vinyl selector (70 records) in summer of the same year. Jukebox_sentence_52

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. Jukebox_sentence_53

Notable models Jukebox_section_1


  • 1927 LINK – valued at US$40,000 and extremely rareJukebox_item_0_0
  • 1933 Wurlitzer Debutante (the first jukebox from Wurlitzer?)Jukebox_item_0_1
  • 1940 Gabel Kuro – 78 rpm, the last model of this manufacturer, four or five are known to exist and are valued at US$125,000Jukebox_item_0_2
  • 1942 Rock-Ola President – only one known to exist and valued at least US$150,000Jukebox_item_0_3
  • 1942 Rock-Ola Premier – 15 known to exist and valued at US$20,000Jukebox_item_0_4
  • 1942 Wurlitzer 950 – 75–90 known to exist and valued at US$35,000Jukebox_item_0_5
  • 1946 Wurlitzer Model 1015 – referred to as the "1015 bubbler" offered 24 selections. More than 56,000 were sold in less than two years and it is considered a pop culture icon. Designed by Wurlitzer's Paul Fuller.Jukebox_item_0_6
  • 1947 Rock-Ola 1422 – This was the exterior used for the credit sequences for season 11 of the sitcom Happy Days.Jukebox_item_0_7
  • 1948 Filben FP-300 Maestro, 78 rpmJukebox_item_0_8
  • 1949 Seeburg Select-o-maticJukebox_item_0_9
  • 1952 Seeburg M100C – This was the jukebox exterior used in the credit sequences for Happy Days in seasons 1–10. It played up to fifty 45 rpm records making it a 100-play. It was a very colorful jukebox with chrome glass tubes on the front, mirrors in the display, and rotating animation in the pilasters.Jukebox_item_0_10
  • 1967 Rock-Ola 434 Concerto – This was the jukebox interior used in the credit sequence for the 11th and final season of Happy Days. Like the Seeburg M100C, it played up to fifty 45 rpm records, but featured a horizontal playback mechanism unlike the M100C.Jukebox_item_0_11
  • 2018 Orphéau Sunflower Serie. This was the first Jukebox playing up to twenty 33 rpm records on both sides using automation technology.Jukebox_item_0_12

Decline Jukebox_section_2

Traditional jukeboxes once were an important source of income for record publishers. Jukebox_sentence_54

Jukeboxes received the newest recordings first. Jukebox_sentence_55

They became an important market-testing device for new music, since they tallied the number of plays for each title. Jukebox_sentence_56

They offered a means for the listener to control the music outside of their home, before audio technology became portable. Jukebox_sentence_57

They played music on demand without commercials. Jukebox_sentence_58

They also offered the opportunity for high fidelity listening before home high fidelity equipment became affordable. Jukebox_sentence_59

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. Jukebox_sentence_60

They enabled people to have their own selection of music with them, wherever they were. Jukebox_sentence_61

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. Jukebox_sentence_62

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. Jukebox_sentence_63

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. Jukebox_sentence_64

In 1995, the United States Postal Service issued a 25-cent stamp commemorating the phonograph jukebox. Jukebox_sentence_65

Digital jukebox and apps Jukebox_section_3

While the number of traditional jukeboxes has declined, digital jukeboxes, also called "social jukebox", have been introduced. Jukebox_sentence_66

Most of the digital jukebox services provide apps to request songs and use further features. Jukebox_sentence_67

Most are focused at the end-user and provide the guests of private events with the ability to collectively control the music. Jukebox_sentence_68

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. Jukebox_sentence_69

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. Jukebox_sentence_70

See also Jukebox_section_4


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jukebox.