A Fish a Day

Long Island, New York, USA

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Will they know what a jukebox is?

May 10, 2018

I grew up in a house filled with turntables, old records, musical instruments and songs always playing in one or more rooms.  We love music in our house.  My mom loves New Wave music from the 80s, so I am well versed in the music of Depeche Mode, Howard Jones and Aha.  My dad loves jazz, so I have listened to a lot of Sonny Rollins, as well as jazz's summery offshoot, bossa nova, including the music of Jobim.  My sister love's all the current tunes.  I like it all, but I really am drawn to the music of the 50s, crooners like Dean Martin and the soul of artists like Sam Cooke.  We all love the Beatles and the Zombies.

 

 

We have a Seeburg jukebox from 1955 -- the V200 -- the first to be able to play 200 different songs.  It's in my basement and its great to be with my family or friends, turn it on and let people wander over to look at the choices and select a few records they would like to hear.  Often, the selection starts a conversation, someone exclaiming they always loved the song, or someone sharing a memory triggered by the tune.  We have the Andrews Sisters on there.  We have Ray Charles on there.  We have the Talking Heads on there.  Elvis, Sinatra, U2, Caetano Veloso, Sergio Mendes, Frank Zappa, the Chordettes and the Coasters are there.  We may very well have the most eclectic jukebox in the world.  A wide array of tunes available at the push of a button, followed by a long electro-mechanical process of the mechanism moving over, selecting the record, dropping it onto the turntable player and the needle dropping onto the record. What follows is a different listening experience than streaming or a CD.

 

I realized the other day that most people don't have an old jukebox in their house.  Most who come over to visit have never seen one, or, if they are older, have not seen one in decades.  I wish more people had them; I wish more people used them.  The jukebox is the ultimate in sharing music with each other.  They are dwindling in numbers as the years go by, as they fall into disrepair, as they are put in storage and forgotten.  It would be great if this changed.

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