On Nov. 23, 1889, the jukebox was first put in use, making this the perfect choice for National Jukebox Day. According to Holiday Insights, the machine used a coin-operated version of the Edison phonograph. It was created by Louis Glass and William S. Arnold, managers of the Pacific Phonograph Co. These gentlemen displayed it at the Palais Royale Saloon in San Francisco, certain it was to be a success, and the machine did not disappoint them. It was originally called the nickel-in-the-slot machine. While that wasn’t an original or particularly catchy name, the jukebox was an instant success. The popularity of the nickel-in-the-slot machine grew phenomenally.
The jukebox experienced many changes and improvements as technology advanced over the years; the first machine did not have amplifiers, limiting the distance from which it could be heard. When amplifiers were added, its appeal soared even more. Continual sound-quality improvements were made. The number of tunes that could be played increased too. Smaller versions were created and installed on walls. Diners put a wall-mounted jukebox at every table along the walls.
Everyone loved the machine. It expanded the reach of music for singers and songwriters. Venues like bars, restaurants and clubs loved the additional traffic and income generated by the jukebox. The general public loved the music options it offered at their favorite places. It took many years before the nickel-in-the-slot machine came to be known as the jukebox. In the 1900s, people went to “juke houses” and “jook joints.” In 1937, these juke houses led to the name “jukebox”. The name is derived from the slang word “juke” which means to dance and act wildly. In 1998, the jukebox entered the digital world when TouchTunes created a digital jukebox that can hold as many as 750 songs.
Jukeboxes carry such a big appeal that they are still popular today. Consumers can get home versions and nostalgia versions that play a variety of music formats, including vinyl records, AM/FM radio, CDs and cassette tapes.
It’s fascinating that jukeboxes have remained popular for more than 120 years. Audio music players have come and gone. Media formats continue to change. The versatile jukebox machine has adapted and evolved over the decades, to keep pace with changes. This versatility, coupled with the nostalgic appeal, is why jukeboxes are still around today and will be around for decades to come. And where will you find a jukebox? Try a local cafe or even a coffee house.
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. So make a memory, and take lots of photos and a video or two. It is time to give thanks for your family and friends, to enjoy their company, and eat the bounty of food that covers your table. Give thanks for the harvest and all the workers involved with getting your food from the farm to that overloaded table in your home. We are very blessed to live where we live. Say a prayer for those who are no longer with us. And as you go throughout the year, be reminded to act justly, walk humbly, and show mercy to all. Happy Thanksgiving from my family to yours.
Take a deep breath, a very deep breath, because there are 25 days — Yes, 25 shopping days until Christmas! But you got this. So enjoy tomorrow because, on Friday, it is time to start decorating for Christmas.
Recipe of the Day: Jell-O Salad
Flower of the day: Dahlia
Dates to remember:
Dec. 7 — Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day
Dec. 19 to Jan. 2 — Christmas vacation for the high schools
Dec. 25 — Christmas
Jan. 1 — New Year’s Day
Until next week — be strong, be courageous and make a memory.