The Best Music Jukebox Ever?
What is the best Music Jukebox ever made?
It sounds a tough question. The Jukebox is a historical icon of American culture that had incredible popularity during the mid to late 1900s. Hundreds of thousands of machines were manufactured and placed in restaurants, bars and diners all around the country. So, when deciding on the best Music Jukebox ever, do you make your choice based on appearance, number of sales, popularity or personal preferences? The answer is simpler than you think, as the Wurlitzer 1015 ticks all the boxes.
Also known as The Bubbler, the Wurlitzer 1015 is likely the model that people conjure up in their mind when they hear the word, Jukebox, even if they may not know it by name. The classical rounded design and colourful facade have made the Bubbler the face of jukebox history.
Designer Paul Fuller and Wurlitzer had initially planned to release the 1015 in the early 1940s. However, production and release were delayed due to the outbreak of World War 2. When the war ended and important materials were no longer required for the war effort, Wurlitzer began production and reintroduced the model in 1946.
Although the war was initially a set back for the 1015, it was likely critical to the eventual success. After the devastating events of war, people were in need of celebration and looking for entertainment. Playing great tracks on Jukeboxes were the perfect outlet for repressed emotions with machines being placed in nearly every restaurant and diner across America. The years following the war provided the biggest Jukebox boom in history, which with the release of the 1015, Wurlitzer capitalized on massively.
The Bubbler was an expensive model at the time costing nearly twice that of the Rock-Ola 1422, the leading competitor of the time. Despite this obvious hurdle the Wurlitzer 1015 sold incredibly well, accounting for around 10% of all the Jukeboxes sales ever made. Wurlitzer produced and sold over 60,000 machines, making it the most successful jukebox from any manufacturer in history
The Wurlitzer 1015 legacy continues today with several modern reproductions available, and whenever a Jukebox is required for movies or television the Wurlitzer 1015 is usually the machine of choice. The Bubbler fits the stereotypical image of a Jukebox that it itself popularized, and being readily available due to the high levels of production and popularity among modern-day restorers.
There is no doubt some of the Wurlitzer 1015′s success over its competitors can be attributed to the attractive design. While appearance is obviously subjective and people have their own preferences, no one can deny that ‘The Bubbler’ is a beautiful machine. Designed by the genius Paul M. Fuller shortly before he left his position as chief designer at Wurlitzer, the 1015 had an unusual amount of time and money spent on its appearance.
As with many of the Wurlitzer designs from ’40s, the Wurlitzer 1015′s cabinet was made from an expensive, high quality walnut veneer that gave the machine an overall finish of quality. Extra attention was also spent on the facing door, with the iconic bubble tubing (hence the nickname) and over two dozen metal castings, that were either nickel or chrome plated depending on the date. The Bubbler just looked nicer than the other jukeboxes it was competing with, and due to the post-war booming business, establishments were willing to pay the premium.
To summarise the 1946 Wurlitzer 1015 looks great, sold more than any other machines and is an icon of its era and now a classic symbol of American culture.
If any machine should hold the title of the best music jukebox ever, it’s the Wurlitzer 1015!
What is the nearest modern Jukebox to the Wurlitzer 1015?
As the Wurlitzer 1015 is such a classic design, many of the modern day Jukeboxes are based on the Bubbler style.
You can buy a Wurlitzer 1015 One More Time CD Jukebox for around $9,000, so you might want to check out the Ricatech RR2000 Classic XXXL LED Jukebox for under £1,000. It’s not as authentic, but a great modern re-production in the style of the original.
Where can I buy an original Wurlitzer 1015?
As previously mentioned, due to the high level of production there often Bubblers for sale from Jukebox dealers such as jukeboxlondon.co.uk in great condition. So it may not be too hard to get your hands on the best Music Jukebox ever!