If you ask someone to tell you what object symbolizes the most the 40's-50's I'm pretty sure that Juke-Box have a special place in people imagination!!!
In all those stupid "cliché" posters about the 50's, you will have a Marilyn Monroe, a '59 pink Cadillac and of course a JUKE-BOX!!!!
I'm blonde as Marilyn, I already own a '59 Cadillac and I should own a Juke-Box of course!!!!
FONZIE knocking the juke-box in HAPPY DAYS must also be a vivid memory for most of us...
If your are searching one, it's quite easy to find but when it comes to the 40's or 50's ones in working condition you must have a huge budget... you will have to choose between a car or a juke box when you compare the estimations of these kind of machines!!!
There are so much amazing models...
My favorites are those from the 50's designed like an vintage american car! The 40's ones are nice and colorful but a little bit to kitch for my taste, moreover they most of the time only store ten 78rpm.
We were quite lucky to find one some years ago, but not because we were searching for one, but just because a friend wanted to get rid of one which was stored for years in his garage... it was not in working condition... but what a beauty!!!!
It was a BAL-AMI 200 dating from 1958!!! One of the last machine without Stereo. BAL-AMI is the american brand AMI but the BAL-AMI juke-boxes were assembled in Great Britain just after the war. The selection system are not the same on european models and most american models were green and european ones pink.
I think that if I could have chose a model I could have nominated an AMI from the late 50's...
So we bring back home this amazing machine for a really affordable price hoping to be able to repair it! It took some months to be able to hear its beautiful sound searching parts all around the world and trying to understand a really complex electrical and mechanical system. But what a nice sound, it's worth it!!!
Our juke-box can store hundred 45rpm and read both side of the plates. It's not in mint condition but in nice original condition and works now really well! We have the chance to know the story of this machine because of a metal plaque on the back, it was in a Café in Vitry-le-François so sold new in France in 1958 so most of the main instructions are in french!
I made myself all these stickers, one for each plate. There are only tunes from the 40's, 50's and early 60's inside, mainly doo-wop our favorites music style.
And here is a video of it.... It takes more space than an i-Pod but nothing compared... please take you ticket back to the 50's!!!!
If you are looking for a juke-box I can recommend to buy only main american brands : ROCK-OLA, WURLIZER, AMI and SEEBURG. They are more expensive than european ones but about all the parts for these models are re-made and there are a lot of good forums to help you to repair or restore your machine.
Are you interested with juke-boxes or own one?
Which ones are your favorites?