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Radio mainly consisted of ‘respectable music’ such as classical, swing, jazz, etc. Blues or Rockabilly was not considered radio worthy music, so the jukebox became the only place to hear this type of music.The jukebox provided the power to sell hundreds of records at once and by 1935 they accounted for 40% of the record trade.
In the mid 1920's the phonograph industry suffered a large decline due to the increasing popularity of radio as well as introducing records and the phonograph into homes."By 1927, The Automatic Music Instrument Company created the world's first electrically amplified multi selection phonograph. With this amplification, suddenly the Jukebox could compete with a large orchestra, for the cost of a nickel. Prohibition assured the jukeboxes success, as every underground speakeasy needed music, but could not afford a live band" (The History of the Jukebox).
The Jukebox does not have one single inventor. Like many other inventions, the phonograph was introduced for different purposes and over time developed into what we now know as the jukebox. The long process involved many people, companies, designs, trials, and improvements.THE BEGINNINGIn 1890 Louis Glass and William S. Arnold invented the nickel-in-the-slot phonograph .The music was heard from one of four listening tubes. Early designs involved the listener to insert a coin and turn a crank. When the crank was turned it would simultaneously wind a spring motor that would place the phonograph needle in the starting position. At this time, most machines were only capable of holding only one musical selection.
SIGNIFICANCERock ‘n’ Roll was such a revolution because of its ability to relate to urban life, youth culture, and the working class. The jukebox was an important aspect of this development because it served as a crucial medium in disseminating the music. Rock ‘n’ Roll has a strong relationship with Rhythm & Blues music and African American influences. Jukeboxes were able to bring R&B music to the attention of a national audience. What made the jukebox different was the broad range of styles that were available. It became a huge promotional tool for artists and resulted in the creation of song charts. Magazines such as Billboard and Variety began listing the popular jukebox hits, which in turn became the foundation for determining live music programming.