History of the Jukebox
German craftsman Rudolph Wurlitzer emigrated to the USA in the mid-19th century and made his first fortune supplying musical instruments to the marching bands of the Union forces in the latter part of the American Civil War.
“Stop! Help save the youth of America! Don’t buy blues records!”
Slogans such as this were commonplace in the southern states during the 1920’s when radio stations staged a boycott of black music. Jazz and rhythm & blues were not publicly played but such discrimination could not suppress lovers of black music. The regular gathering place to hear their music was known as the ‘Juke Joint’ or ‘Juke House’, where music was heard on nickel-operated phonographs.
The golden age of the Juke Box was between 1935 and 1950 when Americans returning from the second world war made decisions about where to go on a Saturday night based on the quality of the entertainment. Only the best and most expensive bars and restaurants could host live jazz and dance bands – in others the Juke Box ruled. In fact, the Juke Box was the entertainment!
Over 100 different models were built during this period with the ‘big four’ manufacturers enjoying their heyday – Rockola, Seeburg, AMI and, most popular of all, the many designs bearing the Wurlitzer brand name.
The Wurlitzer 1015 – the world’s most popular Juke Box:
56,000 of these classic models were sold in the USA between 1946-47. Rotating four coloured cylinders framed by a solid wood cabinet with die cast zinc features and bubble tubes, playing 24 x 78rpm shellac one-sided records. The 1015 is acknowledged to be every collector’s dream Juke Box.
BETTERDAZE is proud to offer four of these classic models, upgraded to play 100 vinyl records in their original 7” 45rpm format.