NATIONAL JUKEBOX DAY
The day before gathering around the turkey, gather around the nearest jukebox to celebrate National Jukebox Day! As Americans flock to their hometowns for Thanksgiving, many will head out to neighborhood bars and restaurants. They will catch up with friends and family and celebrate by playing great songs on their local jukebox.
The name jukebox is thought to originate from places called ‘juke houses’ or ‘jook joints.’ In the early 1900s, people congregated in these establishments to drink and listen to music. In 1889, Louis Glass and his partner William S. Arnold invented the first coin-operated player in San Francisco. They were both managers of the Pacific Phonograph Co. Formally known as the nickel-in-the-slot machine, the player included a coin operation feature on an Edison phonograph. However, it played a limited selection of songs without any amplification.
Playing Music, Playing the Jukebox
Throughout history, the jukebox continued to evolve with the times. When recording artists first crooned into microphones and cut records into vinyl, an aspiring inventor in a Chicago music store worked nights to build a box that would play both sides of the record. While the Blue Grass Boys played to sold-out audiences in the Grand Ole Opry, guys and gals danced the night away by playing their song over and over again on the jukebox at a local pub. With the advancement of technology, today’s jukebox is more versatile than ever before. Touchscreen interfaces respond to the swipe of a finger (or can even be controlled by a mobile app). A vast virtual library of songs includes back catalog jukebox heroes alongside top artists of today.
No matter what genre of music you like, or who you listen with, the jukebox covers every era. From big band and jazz, country and blues to rock & roll, acoustic and electric, and everything in between, celebrate them with National Jukebox Day!
HISTORY OF THE JUKEBOX
The first coin-operated player was invented in San Francisco by Louis Glass and his partner William S. Arnold. Louis Glass and his partner William S. Arnold invented the first coin-operated player in 1889 in San Fransisco, CA. In 1905, John Gabel introduced the “Automatic Entertainer.” It included 24 song selections.
Enter “The Golden Era” of jukeboxes. In the 1930s, manufacturers including Rudolph Wurlitzer Co., The J. P. Seeburg Corp., The Rock-Ola Manufacturing Corp., and Automatic Musical Instrument Co., competed to produce them for diners, saloons, and other entertainment locations.
“The Silver Age” of jukeboxes began in 1946. At the time, the market demand for the newest and greatest technology soared. Fashionable and sleek, jukeboxes were more than just music players, they were centerpieces often flamboyant with color and chrome. Neon and sci-fi became a tremendous influence on style as well.
The 1960s started a new modern age for jukeboxes. Designs of coin-operated models went through radical changes. New materials and customer demand influenced aesthetics and increased the variety of song selections.
In 1989, compact-disc mechanisms replaced the older record-style players as newer technology became affordable and rapidly implemented among the general population. Jukeboxes started to become more of a novelty than a necessity.
TouchTunes introduced the next major innovation for the industry in 1998 with the launch of the first digital networked music jukebox. For the first time, customers could search and browse from a library with 750 digital songs. They continued the innovation with the first-ever jukebox mobile app on iOS and Android. The app allows users to find nearby jukebox locations, create playlists, and queue up songs on the jukebox directly from their phone. Other applications soon followed including Virtuo and Playdium
In 2011, TouchTunes once again revolutionized in-venue entertainment with the launch of Virtuo, a multi-application platform designed to appeal a tech-savvy audience. Users could choose from hundreds of thousands of songs available.
HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalJukeboxDay
National Jukebox Day offers several ways to celebrate!
- Hashtag it: Use the #NationalJukeboxDay hashtag on social media.
- Be the DJ: Help curate the official National Jukebox Day Playlist with your personal jukebox anthems. Post song recommendations with Touchtunes on Facebook.
- Play Another Song on the Jukebox Baby: When you are out on National Jukebox Day, queue up your favorite songs. Let friends know how much you love that jukebox! To find nearby jukebox locations, download the TouchTunes app.
NATIONAL JUKEBOX DAY HISTORY
The day before Thanksgiving is traditionally the busiest bar night of the year as families and friends gather to reconnect over drinks and load up the jukebox with their favorite songs. Coincidentally, the inaugural celebration of National Jukebox Day landed on November 23, 2017, the anniversary of the date the first coin-operated phonograph was installed by Louis Glass in the Palais Royal Saloon bar in San Francisco back in 1889.
TouchTunes founded National Jukebox Day to celebrate the iconic jukebox and the powerful memories it evokes in people. TouchTunes is the largest interactive music, and entertainment network in over 65,000 bars and restaurants nationwide. The Registrar at National Day Calendar has officially declared the day before Thanksgiving to be National Jukebox Day.
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Q. What’s a jukebox musical?
A. It’s not musical theatre about a jukebox, but close. These types of films and stage productions feature music popular music instead of original scores. Some examples include:
- Jersey Boys – The production follows the story of the 1960s group The Four Season and features the group and Frankie Valli’s music.
- Beautiful – The Carole King Musical – Another biographical production, it follows the life of Carole King and features many of her songs.
- The Blues Brothers – This jukebox comedy featured several popular songs including those of James Brown, Aretha Franklin, and Johnny Lee Hooker.
- Moulin Rouge! – In the 2001 film, Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor star in this 2001 film that features the music of Queen, Madonna, Nirvana, Elton John, and more.
Q. Who recorded “Juke Box Hero”?
A. The song “Juke Box Hero” appeared on Foreigner’s 1981 album titled 4. Lou Gramm and Mick Jones wrote the song.
Q. When was the first jukebox invented?
A. The first coin-operated player was invented in San Francisco by Louis Glass and his partner William S. Arnold. Louis Glass and his partner William S. Arnold invented the first coin-operated player in 1889 in San Fransisco, CA. However, the term “jukebox” didn’t start to appear until the 1940s.
Q. Are there other music-related holidays on the calendar?
A. Yes! The calendar celebrates musicians, musical instruments, and genres of music, too. Check these out:
- World Play Your Ukulele Day
- Marching Music Day
- International Jazz Day
- Universal Music Day
- Barbershop Music Appreciation Day