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The Jukebox Co - Rock-Ola Jukeboxes For Sale, Wurlitzer Juke Boxes For Sale, AMI Jukeboxes and Other Jukeboxes From The Jukebox Co






The Jukebox Co


The Jukebox Co. have Rock-Ola, Wurlitzer, AMI Jukeboxes and Other Jukeboxes for sale.

Digger talks to Terry at The Jukebox Co. whose love of Jukeboxes started with rock 'n' roll in the fifties and with his dad's passion for, and involvement with, these beautiful machines. A passion that was passed on to Terry...




Digger: Hello Terry.
Terry: Hello David. I had to strip a jukebox out to be chromed and painted rather urgently and my guy’s champing at the bit to get it done, so thanks for rescheduling,

Digger: That’s fine Terry. I’ve got visions of you now sitting at a big desk in a big room in your jukebox empire!
Terry: No, just a small ten by ten room in my house.

Digger: I’ve always wanted a big room with portraits on the wall that had flashing eyes when you called them. Like they used to on Thunderbirds for the five Tracy Brothers. You know, where they turned into video images of the person? If ever I make my money I’m going to have that!
Terry: Well, you can do that now with the iPhones. If you have a certain App on that then I can see you, you can see me.

Digger: True. It’s funny that we’re dealing in old technology but also using the latest technology.
Terry: Oh yes, I’m a great lover of all the new gadgets that come out, but when it comes down to the music side then the fifties is my era.

Digger: What is your background, can you please tell us how The Jukebox Co started and how the company has evolved into what it is today?
Terry: I was born in 1943 and at the back end of the fifties my dad worked for a company called Bal-Ami in Ilford who manufactured jukeboxes under license to America. So during the school holidays I used to be out and about with my dad delivering machines and doing whatever we had to do.

Digger: Around London and Essex?
Terry: Crikey no, the whole of the UK.

Digger: Wow. 



Terry: You’re talking about delivering eight or nine jukeboxes every time and it would be Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow.

Digger: Back when the roads weren’t that great Terry?
Terry: Yes, it would take six hours to get to Manchester. But that’s where the passion started and then I left school and started trying to sell TVs, which was no good to me. Then I got my driving license and away I went. I was in the jukebox business, working for a company down in Bath. I worked from their London office and then they closed it down after nine months so I was unemployed for a matter of about a day. (Digger laughs) I went straight along to see one of our suppliers and by that time I’d picked up some knowledge and went out on the road as an engineer.

Digger: That was in the days when people did apprenticeships.
Terry: Yes, I learned the hard way though.

Digger: I feel so sorry for the youngster now. It doesn’t matter how qualified they are, the chances are they’re not going to be able to get anything interesting to do.
Terry: No, definitely not. They spend all this time at school and then university and come out getting all the degrees under the sun and end up in jobs that they don’t like doing and that have got nothing to do with their qualifications.

Digger: You sell, hire and repair Jukeboxes. Are these (and the parts) getting more difficult to source?
Terry: The parts are not difficult to source, but trying to obtain any 1957/58 jukebox that is in half reasonable condition is getting harder and harder. Once upon a time it was very easy - you’d get a call from the pickers in The States who’d say they’ve got this and got that and it would fill a container quite easily. But now you’re ringing them - “I need a 1957 AMI H, what’s the chances? “Well, I’ve got this one.” “No, that’s no good.” And the only time we do find any of quality coming on the market is when somebody passes away. And if the estate is crafty enough to put them on auction then that’s when it goes too high to buy it. I think we’ve still got four or five years left amongst us oldies to keep going and (does some maths out loud) 72, 73, 74 – if I can keep going just a little while longer I’ll be alright. (Digger laughs)

Digger: Apart from the sales, the maintenance must be keeping you very busy Terry?
Terry: That will be ongoing whether or not we stop selling machines.

Digger: Are you making parts as well as sourcing the originals?
Terry: I’ve got a little engineering firm in Romford that does the odd one or two parts for me, which is just brilliant because most engineering companies say “We can do 100 or 1,000.” That’s small mechanical parts. But we’ve also got a very good couple in Germany, who are probably in their early forties, and they are reproducing parts like nobody’s business. It’s what is totally keeping us going. They make the machine look presentable with buttons and glasses and plastics and things like that, making our job a lot easier. Because we can then do it to the best of our ability and the customer sees something that they’re quite happy to pay the going figure for. And to put it into their property and it will all look nice in their lounge or kitchen or wherever. If you didn’t have these people doing the repro parts, you’d feel reluctant to sell it at quite a high price to go into somebody’s house.

Digger: There’s nothing wrong with introducing new parts into old machines, of course. When the old Routemaster buses were going around in numbers in London, they reckoned that there was nothing original on them. Everything was replaced after a certain amount of time or miles, from engine parts to the seat covers. It’s the same sort of thing really.
Terry: Yes. Well, I suppose with our sort of product you’ve got to expect that a jukebox might be sitting in a garage or a barn or in storage somewhere. Up until about ten or fifteen years ago, yes, that would be the case

Digger: The first thing that would go is the chrome.

Terry: That’s it. And that’s what we’re finding now, David, is that the chrome is getting so bad that chromers are not being able to fulfil their side of it and bring it up as it should be. Because it’s a die-cast and not a metal of the best quality and it gets harder and harder to get all the pits and marks out and clean and polished for re-chroming.

Digger: Why is vintage, retro and nostalgia so popular in so many people's lives and why are Jukeboxes so evocative of decades past?
Terry: What we’ve found over the last ten or fifteen years or so is that a guy will walk in and this is the normal conversation. “I’ve got loads of 45s sitting up in my attic and I’ve got nothing to play them on, so I thought about a jukebox for playing them on.” That is the most common remark that they make when they come in to look at a jukebox.

Digger: And have they got a real idea as to the cost of these?

Terry: A lot of people don’t  - a lot of people come in and say “Oh, I didn’t realise they were that price.”

Digger: They might have been fooled by going into Debenhams and seeing one of those modern repro digital ones?

Terry: Yes, or the other side of it is they say “Well, they’re 40, 50, 60 years old, they can’t be worth a lot of money.” (Digger laughs) But nine times out of ten, David, they appreciate what we say – that they are what they are. 50 or so years old and that we’ve put a lot of work and time into it, they look and sound great. Then they can appreciate what the value is in the jukebox. You get the odd one or two guys that will come in and they reckon that we’re taking the Mickey (and that’s me being polite!) They come in and start shouting and hollering and I say “Well, I’m very sorry Sir, but there’s a door there. If you’re not happy with prices we’ve got then you’re quite welcome to leave.” But people are beginning to realise that these things are very collectable and we use the term Big Boy’s Toys now. That’s how we’re getting now, guys who are fifty plus and they can relate to the jukebox being in a coffee bar, being in a café or pub or wherever they were at the time. And they think it would be nice to have one indoors with all their favourite records.

Digger: What advice would you give to somebody planning to buy a Jukebox?
Terry: It depends. I try tactfully to find out what their budget is and if the budget is small I say “Fine, I can appreciate it’s not very high on the priority list and you may desire to have something that’s very visual. But why don’t you start with something that’s from the mid-seventies or the late seventies. A jukebox where you don’t see the workings but at least it’s a jukebox that gets you off the ground?” And quite often that does work and then hopefully in a year or two they come back and say “I’ve got some more money, is there any chance of part-exchanging and upgrading this one. I want to buy another one?”

Terry: And the answer is usually yes I imagine?

Terry: Yes. Of course. We try and think we look after our customers and in fact they’re not customers, they usually become friends.

Digger: That’s good.

Terry: The majority of these people do become good friends and we create a good rapport with them.

Digger: Where are your customers coming from?
Terry: A lot of people are coming from The Internet and technology is the main thing. They’ll find us by tapping anything related around jukeboxes. And then they’ll find somebody who’s near enough to their doorstep and they’ll come along to the shop and have a look.

Digger: That’s important, isn’t it? They’re doing their research on The Internet but they actually need to come in to see, hear, touch and smell the jukeboxes?

Terry: That’s right. I have had the odd one or two that have bought over The Internet without seeing, but they are guys who know what they want. I’ve got one, a friend now, in Nelson Lancashire and he’s had three off of me. He’s not prepared to drive all the way down to London and we’ve managed to supply him with what he wants and he’s happy with it. Now we’re on Christmas and Birthday card terms and he’ll ring me just for a chat. As I say, they become friends.

Digger: That is good, isn’t it? And unusual in this day and age as well.

Terry: Yes, this is what I like about the business. There’s no stress involved and you do make good friends with these people and you can sit on the phone for hours talking to them about jukebox-related things and get off the phone and feel quite comfortable with the conversation that’s gone on.

Digger: That was one of my questions Terry. What are the best and most enjoyable aspects of running The Jukebox Co? Building relationships with these people and satisfying them with a great jukebox as well, I suppose?

Terry: I tend to look at it as having three levels of gratification or pleasure. One is finding an old jukebox which is rubbish, for want of a better word. It’s a bit past its sell-by date and you look at it and think “I can do something with that.” So you get a great deal of pleasure out of buying something like that. The second one is the finished article and you think “Crikey, doesn’t that look good?” And you’ve got pictures of when it was a basket case and now when it’s a beautiful fully-working piece of equipment. And then the last bit of pleasure is when somebody comes into the showroom and they say “Oh, I’ve got to have that! That’s it! That’s the one I want! That’s my jukebox!” And the look on the guy’s face – it’s like you’ve given a kid a bag of sweets.

Digger: Is it mostly guys?

Terry: No’ I’ve had  a few ladies coming in and buying. Single ladies that want something to play their records on but it is predominantly the guys.

Digger: And predominantly people of a certain age, I suppose?

Terry: Yes. We do sell to the thirties plus but that's a different ballgame and it’s usually CD.

Digger: The Wurlizters and the AMIs from the fifties and sixties would be irrelevant to them. They grew up with the CD.

Terry: Yes, they look at the 45s and think “What the hell is that?” Especially when the children come in and they say “That’s a big CD isn’t it?”




Digger: What else do you do apart from jukes?

Terry: We can supply pinballs and pool tables although our main focus these days is the jukeboxes.

Digger: What are your plans for The Jukebox Co in the future? You talked about keeping going until retirement and I’m sure a lot depends on how this market goes, but what would be your ideal?

Terry: We downsized the shop in November and came from a main road position into a really comfortable little showroom-cum-workshop five minutes away from where I live now in Ongar, Essex.

Digger: Near Epping?

Terry: Yes. Just off the 414. It suits me down to the ground, it’s much more compact and about a third of the size but still gives me a showroom with about seven or eight jukeboxes in which is fine.

Digger: So you’ve got somewhere where people can physically come to but you’ve got the web presence as well.

Terry: We’re tucked a little bit behind the high street, but we’ve found the last couple of months has been very good and people are beginning to find us and to come down. And I’m now in that contented state where if I wanted to go down there…. like on Monday night. I said to the wife “I’m just going to nip down to the shop for an hour.” Which was about 6:30, and I stayed there for an hour and a half and I achieved a lot more than I would during the day. That’s the great side of it, I’m fidning it less stressful, more pleasurable and I can do what I want to do when I want to do it at my pace. 

Digger: Working smarter not harder?

Terry: That’s it. Monday I came home about 4 o’clock and went with the wife to get some bits for the house but  I went back after dinner at my own piece and it my own time.

Digger: The Internet has opened up things so that you can do that.

Terry: Plus the fact that I’m no longer under the pressure to find x number of pounds to pay the overheads on the other place. This is much more within my budget and something that I can handle. If I don’t go down there for four or five days it doesn’t make that much difference.

Digger: Also, the thing is if you’re buying these jukes that most people would put on the scrapheap and spending time and energy and expertise into restoring them then you can charge a good margin.

Terry: There is also more pleasure now from being in the workshop and going back to what I used to do ten or fifteen years ago - restoring the jukeboxes myself. I'd got to the stage where I had colleagues like Derek, who became a good friend after buying a jukebox and retired  and since helped me with deliveries and now with restorations.  When we had the shop in Ilford, Micky was my mainstay after selling him some parts and also Bill who did a couple of days per week with me. I sold him his first jukebox 28 years ago. But now I am also more hands-on again, which is what I get enjoyment from.

Digger: It's been very interesting and informational Terry and I look forward to seeing you at The Juke Box Jive Show.

Terry: Thanks David. You too.



The Jukebox Co


We have many jukeboxes for sale - Rock-Ola jukeboxes, AMI jukeboxes and Wurlitzer juke boxes. We are one of the largest restorers of jukeboxes in the uk selling and restoring both CD jukeboxes and Vinyl jukeboxes which can be delivered to you.
In addition to jukeboxes we also sell Americana, Pool Tables and have jukeboxes for hire.

Based in Essex in the South East of the UK all our jukeboxes are hand picked for originality and condition. We have over 40 years experience in the sale and restoration of jukeboxes which lets us supply the right jukebox for you.

Being an avid collector and an enthusiast myself I understand the importance of buying the right machine and I pride myself in the quality of the jukeboxes I sell. All the jukeboxes are hand picked for originality and condition.

The restoration service is second to none, as these machines are professionally brought back to their original condition. All the chroming is triple plated the American way, mechanisms are fully dismantled and rebuilt, amplifiers are rebuilt by specialists using all new components and the jukeboxes are reassembled using the utmost care.

Contact the Jukebox Co at
Showroom: +44 (0)1277 363002
Tel: +44 (0)7802 343766






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