In 1927, AMI (the Automatic Music Instrument Corporation) introduced the first jukebox. This led to a craze right across the US. Be it a roadhouse, café or bar, every establishment had to have one.
The trend was slowed by the prohibition period but after sales increased a lot. Some famous names are AMI, Wurlitzer and Seeberg. Each produced variations on the main design. Art trends formed a key part of the machines with Seeburg’s Art Deco designs creating a series of eye-catching models.
By the 1940s, jukeboxes became more elaborate, almost as showpeice public objects, altars to music, if you will. Outside, their wood, glass, and plastic forms frequently echoed the prevailing aesthetic of late Art Deco and Streamline Moderne.
David Rockola became important prior to the war. He purchased patents which allowed him to start the Rockola company. This is the only surviving independent jukebox company today. Rockola jukeboxes are some of the most classic designs.
Jukeboxes were an important part of the social culture, as well as being really beautiful machines that gave people the energy to dance.
Jukebox machines have always played music which spans many different types of music.Artists such as Muddy Waters, who was generally excluded from the radio, were also played.