... Library Units appear in movies?
Check out the John Walter's cult-classic movie "Hairspray". The spoiled bad girl...Amber Von
Tussle has a blond Library Unit in her bedroom on black tapered legs. You can see it at the
beginning of the movie, and at the very end when they play the credits.
|Did you know...?
• Scroll below for interesting stories about these Seeburg jukeboxes •
... Justus P. Seeburg had several library units installed for his own entertainment?
- They were mounted in the walls of:
- his apartment residence in Gaerdet, Stockholm
- his summer house on Vaermdo (an island off Stockholm)
- his yacht in Florida
- and possibly another unit on the west coast
... Elvis Presley owned a 45 rpm Custom Unit?
If you visit Graceland, make sure you check-out the TV Room (not the Jungle Room). Here you'll
see 3 television sets recessed into the wall. To the right of these TV's, you'll see his Seeburg
Library Unit said to be full of Gospel and R&B music. If you have a photo from your trip to
Graceland please send it to me and I'll post it here.
... Frank Sinatra owned a 78 rpm Library Unit?
Click on the photo of "Old Blue Eyes" to the left for a really cool story and photos of his personal
Seeburg 78 rpm Library Unit. This unit is owned by Mike Pearlman of the Los Angeles Jukebox
Company (check out the "Repairs" page for contact information).
... The U.S. Navy fleet had several Library Units?
- They were installed in:
- Aircraft Carriers
... Library Units were popular in Strip Clubs?
- No need to hire a Disc Jockey
- Dancers could quickly and easily program music for their own strip tease shows
- An entire nights worth of music for all the strip performances could be programmed ahead of
time - before the club even opened
- Provided club background music when not used for shows
... Library Units were used in radio broadcasting?
Fred Krock recalls the demise of the "Seeburg Select-o-Matic Hour" in a short story entitled
"KSMO and Successor Stations on 1550 kHz in San Francisco" :
The "Seeburg Selectomatic Music Hour" came from the studio two nights a week at 9 PM. The
Seeburg Company, a well known manufacturer of jukeboxes, was attempting to expand into the
consumer market. Seeburg took one of their stock 100 record units without coin slots and put it
into an attractive wooden case for home use.
Cisler (station owner) traded advertising time for one of the Seeburg home units. All records on
the "Selectomatic Hour" were played on this jukebox. One infamous night the announcer finished
his announcement "......will be played flawlessly on the Seeburg Selectomatic." This was followed
by dead air.
Then was heard the sound of a chair scraping on the floor, the sound of footsteps, the sound of the
announcer kicking the Selectomatic, and the words "damn jukebox." The announcer had
forgotten to close the microphone. That was the end of the "Selectomatic Hour."
... Life Magazine did an article on Library Units in the late 40's?
Publishing date April 5, 1948 (Brooklyn Dodgers on the cover)
Entitled: Phonograph - Select o Matic - 14 Hours Continuous Music
Check out the Literature For Sale- Magazine Articles page of this website for a copy.
... Nat King Cole owned a Library Unit?
Natalie Cole describes her memories of the Seeburg in her autobiography entitled "Angel on My
Shoulder". Here is a passage from Chapter 1, "A Childhood Filled with Music" by Natalie Cole
with Digby Diehl:
"I don't remember him once singing seriously at home with just the family, but it was always a
special treat when he'd bring home acetates of new recordings he had just worked on in the
studio at Capitol that day. (Capitol Records headquarters is on Vine Street in Hollywood, in a
building that looks like a stack of LPs. To this day it is known as "The House That Nat Built.") Dad
would play them in the library on his beautiful custom-made Seeburg Selectomatic sound
system. This was a very frou-frou home jukebox, ultra-high-tech for its day, the first of its kind.
Once you selected what you wanted to hear, it played it automatically. It was all in gold, with a big
glass you could see through. We were never allowed near it, but after dinner, Mom and her sister,
my Aunt Charlotte, and some friends would join him to sit around and discuss the new songs he
brought home. When I got invited to listen, I felt very grown-up."
... Library Units were the workhorses of the Transit Radio System ?
"From 1951 to June 1953, as I kid I was a "go-fer" at FM radio WGTR (General Tire and Rubber--
Yankee Network), in Paxton. From 1949 'till the stations closing in '53, the station was among 29
"Transit Radio" stations nationwide, providing background music for the bus systems. In the city
of Worcester, MA, served by WGTR, each bus had a Stronmberg-Carlson frequency and volume
locked radio, and six speakers mounted on the bus ceilings. WGTR had the Select-o-matic SLU-
1 Library Unit, stacked with London Music Library 78. On the air, that unit played Monday-
Saturdays from 7am-9pm sign off.... Sundays it was given a rest when 10 inch LP's were played.
WGTR-Worcester (MA.) Transit Radio to 227 buses of the Worcester Street Railway Company.
This was the world's first licensed (1937) FM station, beginning operations in 1939, and in the
early '40s was the world's most powerful 360,000 watts (effective radiated power.) General Tire
and Rubber, owner of the station and the Yankee Network, in June, 1953 saw NO future in FM
broadcasting, and RETURNED the station to the FCC, closing the station. But for the stations final
three years, nearly all its music came from the SLU-1, and the 600 or so discs of the 10" London
Music Library Service."
• Story contributed by Richard Eressy, Cape Cod, MA •
... There was a Joe Seeburg Show ?
I am looking for a sequencer box for two units used back and forth in a radio station. The box
was metal , gold finish with a long toggle switch and two red pilot lights showing which unit was
"ready" or "on air". In 1959 0r so, 2 LU's were stacked on top of each other and resting on the
plain wire rack base at the WCOP 11-50 Boston licensed station which had it's transmitting towers
at 75 Concord Avenue, Lexington , Mass.. The transmitter engineer would operate the station with
the Seeburg's 12Midnight -6AM. The station's Program Director, Paul Coss (had a sense of
humor) and recorded half hour Station ID's which the engineer played back on an Ampex 601.
The announcer was given the name Joe Seeburg and it was the "Joe Seeburg Show" on logs and
in newspaper listings. I have one of the Library units, don't know what happened to the other LU.
I would like to find another blond cabinet for my CU and wire up a sequencer/control box for
them. The single unit LU's were used in late 50's / first generation radio station automation
systems by Schafer Electronics and Gates Radio's "Night Watch " system. Both of these had a
10+half inch tape recorder with 25 Hertz sensing tones to sequentially play back the announcer
voice tracks. The LU's had no silence sensing or tones, just the trip at the end of the 45 when it
ran out to the spiral. Sorta loose, but it was a start. I never remember the 2 LU's at WCOP
screwing up on the air, they did receive regular maintenance during the daytime hours by the
engineers who liked them a lot. The WCOP transmitter facility still operates from Concord Ave,
unfortunately the on site engineers, Seeburgs, and Top 40 Format are all long gone."
• Story contributed by Chester Coleman
American Radio Brokers, San Francisco, CA •
... Seeburgs Select-o-matic were operating in all types of businesses?
Below a list of installed units from 195. Most of these businesses are still around and operating.
If you are located close to one, you might want to check to see if they still have the old Seeburg -
you could probably pick it up cheap!
Savings and Loans Associations
... the Death Star PA system had a Library Unit which provided background music for the darkside?
Check out the scene where Lord Vader retreats to his quarters and removes his helmet for the
first time. You only see his back, but if you look closely in the background, you'll see and hear
an AP-1 playing a "Jelly Roll Morton" jazz record. On the far wall you'll also see his vast
collection of 33-1/3 rpm records. Just kidding folks, wanted to see if you were paying attention.
- Blue Hills Country Club (Canton, Mass.)
- Seminole Tennis Club (Forest Hills, N.Y.)
- Downtown Club of Richmond (Richmond, Va.)
- Key Largo Anglers Club (Key Largo, Fla.)
- Birmingham Country Club (Birmingham, Ala.)
- Grosse Point Hunt Club (Grosse Point, Mich.)
- Columbus Country Club (Columbus, Ohio)
- Illinois Athletic Club (Chicago, Ill.)
- Meadowbrook Country Club (Overland Park, Kan.)
- Dallas Athletic Club (Dallas, Texas)
- Raquet Club (Palm Springs, Ca.)
- Spokane Club (Spokane, Wash.)
- Manchester S & L Assoc. (Manchester, N.H.)
- First Federal S & L Assoc. (Providence, R.I.)
- Banker's Federal S & L Assoc. (New York, N.Y.)
- Cambria S & L Assoc. (Johnstown, Pa.)
- Home Building & Loan Assoc. (Durham, N.C.)
- Decatur Federal S & L Assoc. (Decatur, Ga.)
- Avery Building S & L Assoc. (Louisville, Ky.)
- Union Federal S & L Assoc. (Evansville, Ind.)
- Anderson S & L Assoc. (Anderson, Ind.)
- First Savings & Loan Assoc. (Saginaw, Mich.)
- Cragin S & L Assoc. (Chicago, Ill.)
- Pioneer Trust & Savings (Las Vegas, Nev.)
- Union Market National Banks (Watertown, Mass.)
- City National Bank (Winston-Salem, N.C.)
- Florida National Bank (Jacksonville, Fla.)
- First National Bank (Jackson, Tenn.)
- City National Bank & Trust Co. (Columbus, Ohio)
- First National Bank (East Lansing, Mich.)
- Merchants State Bank (Dallas, Texas)
- Lindell Trust Company (St. Louis, Mo.)
- Commercial Savings Banks (Carrol, Ia.)
- The Bank of Arizona (Flagstaff, Ariz.)
- Citizen's National Bank (Riverside, Calif.)
- Seattle First National Bank (Seattle, Wash.)
- Somerset Hotel (Boston, Mass.)
- Fairmont Hotel (Fairmont, W. Va.)
- Hotel Sheraton (High Point, N.C.)
- Daytona Plaza Hotel (Daytona Beach, Fla.)
- Neil House (Columbus, Ohio)
- French Lick Springs Hotel (French Lick, Ind.)
- Longfellow House (Pacagoula, Miss.)
- Hilton Hotel (Fortworth, Texas)
- Mayfair Hotel (St. Louis, Mo.)
- Bannock Hotel (Pocatello, Idaho.)
- Hotel Wesetward Ho (Phoenix, Ariz.)
- Oasis Hotel (Palm Springs, Calif.)
- Jordan Marsh Company (Boston, Mass.)
- Lane Bryants (Manhasset (L.I.), N.Y.)
- Sears Roebuck & Company (Trenton, N.J.)
- Ben Franklin Stores (Baltimore, Md.)
- Grayson's (Jacksonville, Fla.)
- Belk Simpson (Corbin, Ky.)
- Cole of Columbus (Columbus, Ohio)
- McAlpin Company (Cincinnati, Ohio)
- William Weichmann Company (Saginaw, Mich.)
- Buttrey's Department Store (Harve, Mont.)
- May Company (North Hollywood, Calif.)
- Macy's (Hillside, Calif.)
- Massachusetts Mutual Insurance Co. (Springfield, Mass.)
- New England Bell Telephone Co. (New Haven, Conn.)
- Esso Standard Oil Company (Philadelphia, Pa.)
- Sylvania Electric Products, Inc. (St. Marys, Pa.)
- Great Southern Trucking Company (Jacksonville, Fla.)
- Nelson Weaver Companies (Birmingham, Ala.)
- Ohio Fuel Gas Company (Columbus, Ohio)
- General Mills, Inc. (Detroit, Mich.)
- Arrow Petroleum Company (Chicago, Ill.)
- Home Life & Accident Company (Dallas, Texas)
- Harris Adversing Agency (Salt Lake City, Utah)
- Sperry-Rand Company (Pheonix, Ariz.)
- Raytheon Manufacturing Company (Newton, Mass.)
- Johnson & Johnson (New Brunswick, N.J.)
- King Edward Cigar Factory (Jacksonville, Fla.)
- Southern Textiles, Inc. (Alamo, Tenn.)
- Kennatrack Corporation (Elkhard, Ind.)
- Champion Sparkplug Company (Detroit, Mich.)
- Motorola, Inc. (Chicago, Ill.)
- Schlitz Brewing Company (Milwaukee, Wis.)
- Tecon Corporation (Clint Murchison) (Dallas, Texas)
- Holsum Bakeries (Pheonix, Ariz.)
- Anaconda Wire & Cable Company (Orange, Calif.)
- Douglas Aircraft Company (El Segundo, Calif.)