Best Retro Jukebox

Staff Pick

WINNER: The Pig Stand

1508 Broadway • (210) 222-9923

> Not only are they equipped to satisfy the modern listener, the tabletop nickelodeons possessing such topical fare as witty, Anglo-soul balladeer Adele and the latest in Nashville's could-never-walk-the-same-line-as-Cash country stars, but the quarter-a-song table DJs and the solitary jukebox situated in the middle of the greasy spoon also contain the pink and black archetypes of the AM dial of yesteryear. These formidable classics — Etta James, Marty Robbins, Bobby Darin, The Shirelles and Roy Orbison — still come streaming from the speakers in The Pig Stand, just below the ribbons of highways 35 and 281 several stories above, like poltergeists of string-sheened emotion, ghosts of popular music's past, sonic stories of session players picking and crooners crooning, their guitar solos and tin-can vocals picking, snapping and clapping for generations of diner-goers.

Since they first filled a malt shop with their grandiose appeals to "Put your head on my shoulder" or "Be my baby," the jukebox has been a teacher, collaborator and co-conspirator for horny youths, lovesick fools, heady hipsters and smitten kittens. The pay-to-play DJ was invented in 1928, when player piano manufacturer Justus P. Seeburg rigged an electrostatic loudspeaker to a coin-operated record player. The first prototype held only eight songs, a number that has since been healthily surpassed with the inclusion of compact discs into the format, the solitary box at The Pig Stand being a perfect example as the whirling discuses in the upper display case dash refracted neons across the Naugahyde and two-toned linoleum for all to enjoy a little spin down memory lane.

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