BRIGHTENING UP BARROOMS FOR MORE THAN A CENTURY
Next Monday, November 23, the jukebox will celebrate its 120th anniversary. Few inanimate objects have had a greater cultural impact, providing a sense of shared community and inspiring more songs than can be counted. While MP3 players and other modern digital devices almost make a machine that mechanically picks up individual records sort of quaint, it's unlikely the image or metaphor of the jukebox is ever going to fully die out. Truly glorious contraptions are few and far between, especially ones that have done so much to popularize and celebrate recorded music.
We travel back to the 1940s for this sweet soundie to get the record spinning this week.
One of the biggest hits ever connected with the machines was June Carter's "Juke Box Blues." Here's the nifty version from Walk The Line.
The Sex Pistols' frontman is a true knob on the BBC series Juke Box Jury in '70s.
Richard Thompson was on a particularly hot streak in 1990, including this fiery performance on the much-missed Night Music program.
Enjoy this hopping clip of Johnny Otis and his dancers doing "Willie and the Hand Jive" from the 1959 movie Jukebox Rhythm.
Mainstream country music remains one of the jukebox's last strongholds in popular music, at least as a thematic inspiration. This swinger from Alan Jackson owes a strong debt to Buck Owens.
Here's another neato peachy keen clip from the BBC series in 1960.
Another soundie, this time from the swell Glenn Miller Modernaires. Folks sure had fun in soda shops back in the day!
We end, as we must, with Foreigner's overwrought ode to becoming a rock star. Sure, it's pure cheese, but dang it's kinda tasty…