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Texas | Columns | "It's All Trew"

Juke Quarters

by Delbert Trew
Delbert Trew

Speaking of restaurants and things related, I recently paid out at the coffee shop in Alanreed and found a quarter coated with red fingernail polish. I had almost forgotten about "juke quarters" and how important they were to a business with a juke box playing for the customers.

At one time almost every business serving food or drink sported a juke box that played the latest on the Hit Parade. These music boxes were elaborate in construction, colorful, featured neon and flashing lights, and of course played the best sound available for the times, inviting you to drop your quarter in for selections of your choice.

Music companies furnished and installed the juke boxes for a percentage of the "take." In order to entice customers to play music, the companies allowed the owner of the business to coat quarters with red fingernail polish, then have the waitresses play music when the place was quiet. When the take was divided, the juke quarters were removed first to be used again and again. Many a smart waitress used painted juke quarters to pick up the pace on a slow night.


‹ Back to Harvey Girls

Delbert Trew
"It's All Trew"
February 6 , 2004 column



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