There are two very different jukeboxes coming up for sale on 10th June, tell us more about the Singing Towers jukebox.

The two Jukeboxes offered in the 10th June Music sale are early examples from the Big Band era of music when the young of America danced the nights away to the sounds of Glenn Miller, Duke Ellington and their contemporaries.  The earlier one is from 1939 The Singing Towers was made by Automated Music Industry Company (AMI), in common with jukeboxes of the period it was important that their looks filled the room as much as the music and they were made big.

An example of a 1939 Singing Towers jukebox An example of a 1939 Singing Towers jukebox

The styling of this is from the tail end of Art Deco and it has a curious mottled finish, whilst standing in the entrance to Tennants café it has been compared by the passing public to a Dalek and the Blackpool Tower.  In operation the glass panels at the front are backlit with varying coloured lights adding to its charisma.

The second jukebox is the stunning Wurlitzer Jukebox with the peacock design. What can you tell us about the history behind this piece?

The second box is the most iconic jukebox of all time, the Wurlitzer Peacock.  When one thinks of a jukebox this is the image that comes to mind and indeed the name Wurlitzer remains to this day a synonym.  It is big, it is brash, it has curves, it has chrome, it is vibrantly coloured and in your face; many of the qualities that came to dominated US car design in the late forties and fifties.

An example of a Wurlitzer Peacock, 1941 An example of a Wurlitzer Peacock, 1941

The visual styling is completed with bubbles moving through tubes and the innovative use of polarising film to create a simmering almost iridescent glow to the coloured glass peacock decoration from which the box derives its name.  Made in 1941 it was the last of the pre-war (in the USA) jukeboxes.

Both these boxes play 10” 78rpm records but could only manage one side allowing a capacity of 20 tunes in the Towers and 24 for the Wurlizter.  After the war the company of Seeburg raced ahead with technological improvements (allowing up to 100 tunes per box with the new 45rpm discs) and, as if often the way shear practicality took over from grand design and they came to dominate the market.

Check out Tennants on Barnebys here.