That, Little Adam, is not just another story: it’s the whole
story! Apart from the "theft-ability" of small music devices (and that is
rife!), there are times when they just don’t cut it. For instance, at a party
where guests want to choose which tracks they want to hear next.
Ummm . . . that sounds like a jukebox (in the old style!).
Sorry to disappoint but this is NOT the jukebox we are describing. This is one of those beautiful old Wurlitzers, in this case an 1100 - as we say, all lights and chrome. This one plays 78RPM recordings - you can clearly see the changing mechanism and the stack of discs through the glass.
The word "jukebox" certainly evokes different things to
different people, depending, to a large extent, on their age. For those of us
fortunate(?) enough to be around in the swinging ’60s (and earlier), it conjures
up images of a mighty Wurlitzer; a large, almost art-deco device with lots of
chrome and flashing coloured lights, pushbuttons and of course the coin slot to
eat your money. In the middle, a mechanical monstrosity selected 45RPM or even
78RPM records (remember them?) from a revolving platter or stack, according to
the buttons pressed, placed them on the turntable then dropped (literally!) the
pickup arm onto the surface
. . . and they played that track (for your two
bob[two shillings, or 20c]).
You can still find jukeboxes of this type in old-style cafes
and the like and in most cases, they still work after all these years. Of
course, 45 and 78RPM records have long since gone the way of the Dodo but many
now operate with CDs in exactly the same way. Well, maybe not exactly but close
Speaking of CDs, that’s what most of today’s teens and
20-somethings have only ever known. Sure, they’ve seen LP records in garage
sales and bargain stores. Some might have even seen 45s and 78s. But very few
would have a turntable to play them on!
And their idea of a jukebox is a device which may or may not
have the flashing lights – but it still has a coin slot (invariably these days
costing you a couple of dollars!) and (usually) pushbutton track selectors.
Many of these jukeboxes don’t have any mechanical section
showing – often because there isn’t one. If actual CDs are used at all (and that
is diminishing), they are part of a CD stacker which may work much like the old
style record selectors – but you don’t normally see it.