Last year, I raided an old Jukebox Distributor here in Houston that operated from the sixties until the demise of the vinyl jukebox in the late eighties. When CDs promised to offer ten times the amount of music in the same physical space as a vinyl 45rpm jukebox, well the format war was waged and vinyl lost faster than you can change sides of a record.
What’s a jukebox Distributor you ask? Generally, when bars have jukeboxes, pinball machines or video games like Ms Pac-man, they are owned, operated and repaired by a third party. A company that supplies your local watering hole with the entertaining gizmos so to speak and repairs broken flippers.
One of the most important facets of the jukebox distributor was to provide their groove-boxes with all the new tunes that were currently burning up the radio waves that they could get. Remember, in 1976, there were no ipods or satellite radio for bartenders to inundate you with their poor tastes in music. In this era, the jukebox was the heartbeat of your bar and keeping it well-stocked with the latest and greatest singles was imperative to its survival.