The Permian Basin Jukebox Roundup

By Chad Hauris: Updated 8/15/05

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One of our favorite things to work on at the shop is jukeboxes. Many of us, I'm sure, have an emotional or nostalgic connection to a jukebox playing our favorite tunes at a restaurant, bowling alley, bar, or other establishment. When I was in school, we even had one at the laundromat! Unfortunately, jukeboxes are becoming a vanishing part of our popular culture...it can be hard to find one these days...and the ones that play actual records are rarer still. We are on the lookout for jukeboxes in the West Texas Region and will note them here. If you know of an establishment with a jukebox, email us at retroaudiolab@yahoo.com.I will also include other notable jukebox locations around the South and Southwest that I have found notable, that you might pass through on a road trip.



Midland

KD's Bar-B-Que, Garden City Highway and I-20. There is a Rock-Ola CD jukebox here, located in the bar area of the main building, at the back of the restaurant. It is hooked up to speakers on the outside patio so you can listen outdoors as you eat. Most of the music is Country. We can highly recommend the food and service here: it is family owned and really captures the rustic style of West Texas. However, the main dining room is only open for lunch hours on weekdays, and for lunch or supper on weekends. Photos: Chad at the KD's Jukebox, KD's Jukebox Picture #2, Outside of KD's


Pizza Hut, Andrews Highway and Midland Dr. Has A Rowe/AMI CD jukebox: appears to be an early '90's model. The volume was turned up loud enough to be audible in the room, but the auxiliary speakers in the ceiling were unfortunately not hooked up.

Pizza Hut, Old Town Midland, Andrews Hwy.  There is also a Rowe AMI CD-100 of 1993 here. A table is located fairly close to the jukebox.

Starlite Lounge, Garden City Highway. This is a small bar which has a shuffleboard table and a Rockola Legend CD Jukebox. The clientele was pretty friendly. Photos: Starlite Jukebox, Starlite Sign

FORMER JUKEBOX LOCATION: Cowboys II Cafe, I-20 Service Road and Rankin Hwy. Midland. This cafe dates from at least the 1970's. After a jukebox pick-up recently we went to eat at the Cowboys II cafe and noticed speakers in the ceiling. Our suspicions were confirmed upon talking to the waitress that indeed there used to be a vinyl record jukebox here, but it started acting up and was sold to a customer who wanted to buy it.

Update: 2/24/05: Unfortunately Cowboys II is no more. They were let out of their lease involuntarily as the building owner wants to put in a Mexican restaurant.


 Logan's Roadhouse, Loop 250, Midland:  John reports that there is a Wurlitzer CD jukebox here...it did not appear to be working though. May need to take another look.

Other Locations

Majestic Hotel, Hot Springs, Arkansas. If you are into all things "retro" this hotel would be right up your alley. The older part of it dates from the turn of the century to the early 1920's, and there is an addition from 1963. In the lobby are old-fashioned public address wall speakers still playing music, and the architecture of the rooms is well-maintained from the time they were built. The elevators still have provisions for a human operator. Well, in this place I thought there HAD to be an old jukebox, and we were right. In the bar, directly adjacent to the main elevators in the lobby, was an early 1980's Wurlitzer that used records. It was unplugged, so I plugged it in, but all I got was hum. If only I had some tools with me I probably could have fixed it! This jukebox sighting was from October 2004. Majestic Hotel Website

Mini-Mall, Cloudcroft, New Mexico. Inside one of the mini-malls on the town's historic main street is a 40's Wurlitzer. It is not functional though...some of the mech has been removed. They have a speaker inside it hooked up to a stereo to provide music.

Artesia, New Mexico: There is a late '70s Rockola jukebox at an antique shop as you are heading west out of town on the main highway towards Cloudcroft. Cannot remember the name of the shop but the lady also has electromechanical pinball machines. (2/24/05)

Gardendale, Texas: Gomez Restaurant There is a Rock-Ola Legend CD jukebox in the cantina area here which has a visible mechanism. Often Gregory and I won't go to bars as they can be smoky or noisy but there was no one else here one time so we had the jukebox all to ourselves. The volume is turned up to a good loud enough level and the jukebox features a good variety of music.

As we find more Jukeboxes, we will add them to the list.


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