ON THIS DAY IN MUSIC HISTORY: 11.23.20


1889 - The world's first jukebox was installed at San Francisco's' Palais Royale Saloon. The machine was originally called the "nickel-in-the-slot player" by Louis Glass, the entrepreneur who installed it. The machine, built by the Pacific Phonograph Company, featured four stethoscope-like tubes attached to an Edison electric phonograph fitted inside an oak cabinet, meaning four different listeners could be plugged into the same song simultaneously. The machine became known as a "jukebox" later, although the origin of the word remains a bit vague.

While scholars may not know the exact etymology of the term "juke," what is known is that the term "jukebox" comes directly from the early 1900s establishments known as jukehouses or jookhouses. A jukehouse was simply a place where people listened to music and drank the night away, dancing with friends, and the term jukebox is in reference to the record player that would have been a staple in these places.

1936 - Blues musician Robert Johnson began his first recording sessions. The recording session was held in San Antonio, Texas, in room 414 of the Gunter Hotel, which Brunswick Records had set up as a temporary recording studio. In the ensuing three-day session, Johnson played 16 selections, and recorded alternate takes for most of these. Johnson reportedly performed facing the wall; although some have suggested this indicated Johnson's shyness, guitarist Ry Cooder speculates that Johnson played facing a corner to enhance the sound of the guitar.

1968 - Promoting their avante-garde album Two Virgins, famous for the cover photo of the couple naked, John Lennon and Yoko Ono appear on the cover of Rolling Stone, again nude.

1970 - Cat Stevens releases his fourth album, Tea For The Tillerman. It's his breakthrough in the US, where "Wild World" becomes his first hit.

1979 - Pink Floyd released 'Another Brick In The Wall (Part 2)' which rapidly topped the charts in the UK, followed by the US and a further 9 countries. It featured the children from Islington Green School in North London, close to Floyd's Britannia Row Studios. It was made up of 23 kids between the ages of 13 and 15. They were overdubbed 12 times, making it sound like there were many more kids. There was some controversy when it was revealed that the chorus was not paid. It also didn't sit well with teachers that kids were singing an anti-school song ( Roger Waters: The song is meant to be a rebellion against errant government...). The chorus was given recording time in the studio in exchange for their contribution; the school received £1000 and a Platinum record. (Photo by MJ Kim/Getty Images)

1991 - Queen's Freddie Mercury issues a statement confirming he has AIDS and calling for help in fighting the disease. "I felt it correct to keep this information private to date to protect the privacy of those around me," he writes. "However, the time has come now for my friends and fans around the world to know the truth and I hope that everyone will join with my doctors and all those worldwide in the fight against this terrible disease."

Mercury dies the next day.

Birthdays:

Betty Everett, who had a big hit with "'The Shoop Shoop Song (It's In His Kiss)", was born today in 1939.

Bruce Hornsby is 66.

Miley Cyrus is 28.

On This Day In Music History are gathered from This Day in Music, Paul Shaffer's Day in Rock, Song Facts and Wikipedia.

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