On 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’ll 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.
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.
Throughout each era – from big band and jazz, country and blues to rock & roll, acoustic and electric and everything in between— the jukebox has played it all.
HISTORY OF THE JUKEBOX
1889: The first coin-operated player was invented in San Francisco by Louis Glass and his partner William S. Arnold.
1905: The “Automatic Entertainer” was introduced by John Gabel and included 24 song selections.
The 1930s were considered the start of “The Golden Era” for jukeboxes as 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.
1946 ushered in “The Silver Age” for jukeboxes as market demand for the newest and greatest technology soared. Fashionable and sleek, jukeboxes weren’t 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 was the start of a new modern age for jukeboxes. Designs of coin-operated models went through radical changes, not only because of the availability of new materials, such as plastic but also because of the need to accommodate customer demand for more song selection.
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.
In 1998, TouchTunes introduced the next major innovation for the industry 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.
In 2010, TouchTunes released the first-ever social 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.
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.
In 2014, TouchTunes introduced the next wave of innovation with Playdium, a smarter jukebox that dynamically updates the user experience to showcase the music most relevant to each location.
In 2016, TouchTunes revamped the mobile app experience to allow music fans to be the DJ like never before. The advanced app offers an intuitive music-first design and improved usability to better control the jukebox.
HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalJukeboxDay
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 at www.facebook.com/touchtunes.
Play Another Song on the Jukebox Baby: When you are out on National Jukebox Day, queue up your favorite songs and 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 lands on November 23, 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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