The classic jukebox is an endangered species
A friend recently sent me an article on the future of Jukebox repair. I know it's probably not a conversation you'll be having around the dinner table or at the water cooler, but for the many of us who have a jukebox it's a big concern.
The reason jukebox repair is a vanishing breed is because the demand for those who have jukeboxes is slowly evaporating. The average age of repair persons is on the short side of over 55. Parts are very hard to find and the cost and turnover doesn't make for a very profitable business.
It's very time consuming to get a broken jukebox up to speed. Once a jukebox is broken, many owners are sending their jukeboxes to the grave. I hope we can see a younger generation taking an interest in jukebox repair to keep them alive.
The number of jukebox repair persons is very slim in New Jersey. There are only three that I could find. In New York City, including all five burrows, there are only five jukebox repair persons. When I finally found someone in Jersey, my first experience wasn't so pleasant and was very expensive.
My Jukebox came from a great friend of mine. George Beckett gave me his 1971 jukebox that played at his popular bar Cheers that he owned in Long Branch. Cheers was famous for live music and I spent many a night there enjoying the best in local entertainment.
When the band would go on break, or there was a night with no live music, the jukebox would fill the bar with classic hits. Bruce Springsteen, Bobby Bandiera and Bon Jovi, all put money in that jukebox which now proudly sits in my living room. The jukebox is filled with Motown, Rock and Roll, Frank Sinatra classics and a lot of hits from the '50s and '60s.
The jukebox is in need of repair, so I looked for a specific jukebox repair person and when it didn't work out I called my friend Jerry who runs sound and lights and is also a musician who is brilliant. He downloaded the manual and is currently working on it now. I hope jukeboxes don't go away. We just need more smart people take interest to keep the music alive.
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 weekend host Big Joe Henry. Any opinions expressed are Big Joe’s own.