CAN YOU REMEMBER THE FIRST JUKEBOX YOU EVER SAW?
Not long ago I walked into; well, let’s just call it an establishment. A number of things caught my attention, but one in particular was a jukebox. It was one of those big ole jukeboxes, with lights and the arm that came out and picked up the record; big speakers on each side, and it had a great sound. I walked over to it and it read three plays for a quarter. Not bad for current day, but I can remember in the late 1950’s when it was 5 plays for a quarter. At Bert and Fin’s truck stop, just a bit south of Farmersburg, (Indiana) their jukebox offered 6 plays for a quarter.
One of the first jukeboxes I can remember was in Farmersburg, Indiana. It was in a restaurant, soda type joint just down the street from Calvin’s barbershop. Another was at Arnold’s Newsstand in Sullivan. But the jukebox that most comes to mind was the one in the Blue Goose in Shelburn, Indiana. (Smoked my first cigar out back of the Blue Goose at halftime of a ballgame I was attending. I was in the 8th grade, and I got sicker than a dog; bad scene for young Larry that night.) But I sure dropped a few quarters in those jukeboxes on many a Saturday night.
It is not certain where the term jukebox came from. Some suggest it came out of the American south where bars played jazz and blues. For some reason, some of the places were called “jook joints.” Commercially the term was not adopted until the late 1930’s. Early jukeboxes could be found in speakeasies during Prohibition. The 40’s and the 50’s were the golden age of the jukebox. It is said that the decline of jukeboxes began with the fast food business. Can you imagine Ronald McDonald and jukeboxes today?
It’s playin’ all my favorite mem-o-ries
One by one they take me back
To the days when you were mine
And I can’t stop this jukebox in my mind
Maybe that is why a jukebox stills has a lure for so many from my time and generation….
May 1, 2013