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In the old days, jukeboxes were coin-operated machines that could be found in virtually every restaurant or other place of business. As the music industry has evolved, jukeboxes have all but disappeared from our country.
Despite everything that has happened jukeboxes do still exist. They are still being manufactured in full size and table top size models even until now. In recent years they have even evolved to be machines that you can use to stream songs via an app on your phone.
Jukeboxes can still be found in many people’s game rooms, nostalgic restaurants, and even some bars and nightclubs. They have changed a considerable bit since their inception as newer models will often be able to stream music from your phone and will rarely play music from a record anymore (unless you buy a refurbished older machine).
To see the most popular Jukeboxes that you can get today just click here.
Buying a jukebox
If you are wondering whether jukeboxes still exist because you are wanting to purchase one then you are in luck. There are still a decent number of jukeboxes that are being made and sold. They range in size from ones that go on top of a table to being sized exactly like the originals.
If you are buying a jukebox then you will want to be sure and spend some time doing plenty of research. Of course if you are just buying a cheap small model than a bunch of research is really unnecessary.
Home Leisure Direct put out an excellent buyers guide for jukeboxes. It can be found in the video below.
Interesting facts about jukeboxes
Jukeboxes have been around for multiple generations now but how much do you really know about them? Some interesting facts about jukeboxes are:
- The word juke is a southern word for dancing.
- In the 1950s, the Jukebox was a staple of pubs in the UK and America.
- The roots of the Jukebox can be traced to 1877
- The largest selling jukebox of all time is the Wurlitzer
- The most familiar jukeboxes were the Seeburg
- Jukeboxes hit the peak of their popularity in the mid-1950
- No one is sure how many jukeboxes were made
- Jukebox could even be found in drugstore and ice cream parlors to the delight of kids
- A jukebox could hold 12 to 16 records. The patron could not pick and choose their songs.
- Many people referred to them as nickel in a slot machine.
- The records were regularly changed based on which song was played the most at that location.
History of the jukebox
Modern technology has made it possible for virtually everyone in the USA to have a music player in our pockets. Not only can you play virtually any song you like but there are many streaming services to choose from with tons of cheap or even free options!
It’s hard to believe that not many years ago if people wanted to listen to music they either had to go buy a record themselves, hope it came on the radio, or head down to their favorite jukebox to listen to it!
The history of the jukebox is quite an interesting thing to study.
The 1870s to 1910s: The early model was known as Automatic coin-operated phonographs. It had no speaker that allowed you to listen; instead, listening tubes were used.
The roaring twenties: This era saw the birth of the first selective jukebox ever by an automated musical instrument company. Also, the introduction of electronically recorded music was another critical step in jukebox evolution.
The 1940s: It’s estimated that many records produced in America went straight into Jukebox, and their golden age had begun. It was this era that Rock-Ola debuted the wall box system, which could be used in conjunction with full-sized jukeboxes.
The 1950s: The global height of jukebox popularity. Jukebox owners all across the globe were raking in the profits and jukeboxes were quite literally in every store! . The coming of the classic American diner helped cultivate the super cool image of jukeboxes.
At the end of the 1950s jukeboxes were quickly going out of style. It would be a few more decades before they became almost obsolete but the 50s really were the beginning of the end for jukeboxes across the country.
As portable radios became more prevalent across the globe no one needed to pay to listen to a specific song anymore as they could simply carry their radios everywhere. Jukeboxes quickly began disappearing as profits plummeted.
The 1960s: The jukebox continued its steady decline as more and more people started listening to portable radios. The 1960s also saw the introduction of a portable cassette player using 8 track tapes.
People could not only listen to music for free on their radios but they could purchase a tape and play it over and over again without spending money on a jukeboxes. Jukeboxes became more and more of a novelty and continued to slowly disappear.
Today: Jukeboxes today are only seen in a few retro style restaurants or in some bars and nightclubs. They are rarely used as everyone can listen to whatever they want whenever they want with the devices they always have in their pocket (their phones if you weren’t sure).
Some jukeboxes are still being produced however it is on a much smaller scale. As technology continues to advance traditional forms of media are continuing to get left behind.
It took decades to move from records to 8 tracks, decades to move from 8 tracks to cassettes, less than a decade to move from tapes to CDs and just a few years to move to streaming services.
The future: Of course no one truly knows what the future of the music industry looks like but it is unlikely that jukeboxes will be in it. At some people the people who remember actually using a jukebox will get so small that the manufacturers won’t have enough demand and will stop making them all together.
At that point jukeboxes will truly cease to exist. Most people believe that is just a decade or two away but honestly, who knows.
Everyone predicted the demise of records but in recent years they have been making a huge comeback as young people from all over are revitalizing that dying industry.
Will jukeboxes make a comeback too?
I personally wouldn’t bet on it but weirder things have happened.
Jukeboxes have been around for many decades and probably aren’t going anywhere for another decade or two. They are far from the same type of machines that they used to be as most of them that are being built now are bluetooth enabled and have an AUX port so you can connect your music devices to them.
Most of the time a jukebox is nothing more than a decoration to help remind people of a simpler time. Of a time when listening to your favorite song meant going to the ice cream parlor or local diner and listening to it with family or friends.