Filling A Jukebox & Thinking Nostalgically About Vinyl (Part 2)
So what does a rock writer have in his 1965 Seeburg Discotheque jukebox? Last week I discussed vinyl in general, but this week I want to explain how I filled mine with 160 records.
I have found that putting the records in the jukebox by era makes it easier to understand for the song chooser. There are ten columns of labels with eight record labels to a column. The first column has early rock & roll going back to the 1950s. Right this moment the first column has two records that I found on Ebay that were made for this specific Seeburg Discotheque jukebox. They were in a sealed box from 1965, but they were all just basically background music. They are LPs that are 7inches, but the songs are covers done by big bands from the era.
The first row following the LPs begins with The Mills Brothers’ “Paper Doll”, Bill Haley’s “Rock Around The Clock”, Fats Domino’s “My Blue Heaven”, Buddy Holly’s “Everyday” and “Peggy Sue”, Chuck Berry’s “Maybelline” and “Roll Over Beethoven”, and Rick Nelson’s “Lonesome Town”.
The column focused a bit more on Nashville and has two more of those special Discotheque LPs. The labels for the LPs is made of plastic and lights up nicely when the juke is turned on. The next record in that column is a Patsy Cline LP that I found at the Vinyl Cave. The LPs were a money maker for the proprietor because you paid extra and got more songs for your money, usually 3 songs. Following Cline is Elvis Presley singing “Are You Lonesome Tonight”, Jerry Lee Lewis singing with Elvis and Roy Orbison on “Save the Last Dance For Me”, Johnny Cash singing “Walk the Line” and “Get Rhythm”, Jerry Lee Lewis’s “Whole Lotta Shakin’”, and Elvis doing his anthem of “Blue Suede Shoes”.
The next column’s records were picked after staying up late and watching a Time-Life infomercial on the songs of the early 1960s. The Drifters’ “There Goes My Baby”, Frank Sinatra’s “It Was a Very Good Year”, That’s Life”, and September of My Years”, The Platters’ “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes” and “Twilight Time”, The Righteous Brothers’ “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’ (Top Gun)” and “(You’re My) Soul and Inspiration”, Skeeter Davis’ “The End Of The World”, and Phil Phillips doing “Sea Of Love”.
Column four focuses on the mid-1960s with a slight bias toward the British Invasion. The first song of the row is “Draggin’ The Line” by Tommy James and the Shondells followed by Mary Hopkin singing “Those Were The Days” and “Goodbye”. The one song that everyone from that era plays when they go to the jukebox is “Those Were the Days”. It has this nostalgic property to it that I will never understand being that I was born at least 10 years after the song was made. “Goodbye” was written by Paul McCartney circa the Sgt. Pepper years and is a nice cover. Mary Hopkin’s voice rides an extremely fine line between being nice and annoying though.
The rest of that mid-60s column has Otis Redding singing “The Dock of the Bay”, Dave, Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich performing “Hold Tight” (Death Proof), “Have I The Right” by the Honeycombs, “Light My Fire” and “Crystal Ship” by The Doors, “Sunny Afternoon” by The Kinks, and a great Beach Boys Medley on one side and “God Only Knows”.
The next column focuses on the psychedelic rock of the mid to late 1960s. The Beatles’ “Strawberry Fields” and “Penny Lane” are at the top. They are followed by my parent’s favorite song by The Moody Blues, “Nights in White Satin”. “Over The Hill & Far Away and “Dancing Days” by Led Zeppelin, “Little Green Bay” (Resiviour Dogs) by The George Baker Selection, “Sunshine Superman” and “Mello Yellow” by Donovan, “A Whiter Shade of Pale” by Procol Harum, “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” and Honky Tonk Woman” by The Stones, “Down on Me” and “Bye, Bye Baby” by Janis Joplin make it complete.
Because I love the music from that whole late-1960s wave I continued that trend to the next column that is in the same area. At the top is “Everybody’s Talkin’” by Nilsson, “Down on the Corner” and “Fortunate Son” by CCR, “Mrs. Robinson” and “Old Friends-Bookends” by Simon and Garfunkel, “Brown Sugar” by The Stones, “Something in the Air” by Thunderclap Newton, “Baby It’s You” by Smith, “Closer To Home” by Grand Funk Railroad, and “All Along the Watchtower” by Jimi Hendrix. The last two are two of my favorite three-piece bands.
The next two columns are a mish-mash of 1970s and 1980s stuff. The whole nostelga wave for me is tougher for this era, but the first section has Supertramp’s “Bloody Well Right”, “Angie” by The Stones, “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number” by Steely Dan, “Magnet and Steel” by Walter Egan, Aquarius/Let the Sunshine (HAIR) by the 5th Dimension, “In The Summertime” by Mungo Jerry, “Maggie May” and “Reason To Believe” by Rod Stewart, and “Space Oddity” and “The Man Who Sold The World” by David Bowie. For those out there who are Nirvana fans “The Man Who Sold The World” has special meaning.
The next section has “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen, “Stray Cat Strut” by The Stray Cats, “One Way Or Another” by Blondie, “Puttin’ on the Ritz” by Taco, “Walk This Way” by Run-D.M.C., “It’s Still Rock And Roll” by Billy Joel, “Thriller” by Michael Jackson, and “Come as You Are” and “Drain You” by Nirvana. This row changes often with lots of 1980s and 1990s stuff.
The last two sections are more modern. They begin with “Wonderwall”, Round Are Way”, I’m Outta Time”, and “The Shock of Lightening” by Oasis. Then we have “Millionaire” by Liam Gallagher’s new band Beady Eye as my wife loves her some Liam.
The next song is a one-of-a-kind for my jukebox alone. It is a 45rpm by The Black Eyed Snakes with “Chicken Bone George” on one side and “She Moves Me” on the other. This was a gift and compliments the next record by The Little Black Books’, “They’re Never Wrong”.
From this year’s record store day I added The Black Keys’ 45rpm with “Sister” and “Money Maker” performed live. This came with the RSD release of El Camino, but unfortunately the 45 only had a small hole that is usually only put on larger LPs.
My jukebox had one of the first modern computers back in 1965. It is able to read the record and determine the speed to play based on the hole in the center. This caused many problems in England back in the day because their 45s all came with a small hole. There was a tool created to make the hold larger. The process is called, “dinking” and is kind of difficult to do properly. Luckily I found a guy out in Rhode Island who will “dink” my records for 50 cents a piece. I usually send him a few at a time and anxiously await their return a few weeks later. The Black Keys and Black Eyed Snakes records both had to be dinked and I recently got them back. They sound awesome on vinyl through the old juke.
The remaining records on my jukebox are all Third Man releases. I belong to the Vault, which sends you a new group of records every 3 months from TMR. Within each edition released there is usually a 45rpm. There was an amazing remake by Beck of The White Stripes’ “The Hardest Button to Button” as well as very early White Stripe re-releases and special tri-colored Dead Weather or Raconteur songs. Jack White also releases singles off of his new album “Blunderbuss” for $6 each and the b-side usually contains something previously unreleased. One example would be “Freedom At 21” and it’s b-side of “Inaccessible Mystery”.
Having a jukebox can be fun. With modern releases it is not just a relic of the past, it is a way to preserve and appreciate music.