Just when you forget a childhood memory, something happens to trigger old memories. The scene: I am sitting in a local cafe – at lunch with two co-workers today, both are my age. “Ain’t that a Shame” – a Fats Domino song begins to play. I immediately start singing along and then realize this is not a normal song for people my age. A bit self consciously, I blurt out “We used to have this song on our jukebox growing up!” Then it occurs to me – most kids do not grow up with a jukebox in their living room.
After some research and help from my siblings, I believe we had a 1960’s Rock Ola Princess Jukebox. Seeing pictures and this YouTube video make the memories more real for me. It didn’t cost a thing to play a song. My father had rigged it to be free – he had a history of restoring antique slot machines. Restoring old slot machines and re-selling them was one of the ways in which he supported himself, my mother and two young children while he attended law school. That was another unique part of growing up that I will post on later – growing up with numerous slot machines in our house. As a kid, it had some interesting side effects, more to come on that later.
Every time I hear a song from that jukebox, I remember the fun times we’d have playing song after song on that jukebox and the dances we’d make up to those silly songs. Unfortunately, my father passed away 12 years ago, but his spirit lives on with the wonderful memories. My older sister actually created compilation CD’s for us years ago with many of the songs from that jukebox we had from our childhood. Some of our favorite songs include:
- Splish Splash by Bobby Darin
- Green Onions by Booker T. & the MG’s
- Sneaky Snake by Tom T. Hall
- Great Balls of Fire by Jerry Lee Lewis
- Sitting on the Dock of the Bay by Otis Redding
- Johnny B. Goode by Chuck Berry
- 9 to 5 by Dolly Parton
I’d like to thank my wonderful parents for the great memories we made growing up in such a unique and loving home. I can only wish that all children were as lucky as we were.
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