1950s Historical Moments in Music and Art
What did teenagers of the 1950s do after school? Many went to a burger joint or soda fountain for a malt or Coke and to play the jukebox. In those days, you could listen to six of your favorite songs for a quar1er.
A type of jukebox had been around since Thomas Edison first invented the phonograph. This early model was called “Nickel-in-the-Slot.” and four people at a time could hold an earphone and listen to a song. In the 1940s, 1950s, and early l960s, jukeboxes could be found everywhere, coast-to-coast, in big cities, and in small towns. Over 500,000 jukeboxes existed in restaurants, soda shops, truck stops, college hangouts, and bars.
Three companies, Wurlitzer, Rock-ola, and Seeburg, vied to see who could make a jukebox more ornate than the other guy. Many models were elaborate constructions of plastic, housing tubes of neon lighting. Some restaurants even had a small jukebox at every booth or table that was near a wall.
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Today jukeboxes can still be found in some bars, but they have almost vanished from restaurants. They are considered to be collector’s items and many a proud owner displays his prominently in the den or recreation room.
Have you ever played a song on a jukebox? Where was it? What song did you?
This is page 29 from GGA537 Historical Moments in Music and Art.