A look back at Rock Ola jukeboxes through the ages

A look back at Rock Ola jukeboxes through the ages

Excuse us for a moment, as we hearken back to the bygone days of 1927. It was the Roaring Twenties, and business was booming for America. So, it seems fitting that this was the moment David C Rockola chose to found the Rock-Ola Corporation, setting the stage for what would become a global phenomenon in the world of jukeboxes and coin-operated machines. Today, we’re fast approaching a century of history, so we thought we’d take a moment to honor some of the most popular and innovative designs that our engineers have pioneered over the years.


The 1940s - the 1428 Rock-Ola Magic Glo Jukebox

One of the oldest jukeboxes still in circulation today, we produced the 1428 Magic Glo as the styling, strong colors and animation. Even today, you can see how it perfectly captures that feeling of post-war euphoria that was being felt the world over. After six years of death and destruction, people were looking for some good old-fashioned escapism, and with the Magic Glo jukebox line, we were pleased to bring them exactly that. last in the Magic Glo series. We built it in the boom immediately following the end of the Second World War, which is clear to see from its Art Deco.


The 1950s - the 1434 Rock-Ola “Super Rocket”

1951 was the year when we officially launched the Super Rocket, which immediately saw widespread popularity. As well as being a brilliant jukebox in its own right, it also marked a change for jukebox manufacturers like us - namely the arrival of the 45rpm seven-inch record. The Super Rocket was our first 45rpm player, holding 25 records for a total of 50 selections.

The 1960s - the wall mount Rock-Ola 1464

By the early 1960s, we noticed a gap in the market - one that called for smaller, more compact jukeboxes so venue owners and private buyers didn’t have to concern themselves with available floor space. We responded with the wall-mounted Rock-Ola 1464, which proved to be the vanguard for a raft of similar models in the decades to come. It holds 60 records (for a total of 120 selections), and captured the public’s hearts immediately with its elegant aesthetics and wide range of colors.

The 1960s - the Rock-Ola Princess

We couldn’t move away from the 1960s without mentioning the ever-beautiful Rock-Ola Princess. We debuted it in 1962, and only 8500 were ever produced, making them highly collectible. It sports a visible mechanism wherein you can actually see the records being selected and played, through the narrow arched glass on the front. Today, it maintains its reputation as being one of the smallest free-standing variants of the visible mechanism jukeboxes.


The 1970s - the Rock-Ola 449

Looking for a Rock-Ola machine with a disco aesthetic? Well, we’re pleased to tell you: the 449 has that in spades. From its silver trim to its entrancing blue finish, it’s no wonder the Rock-Ola 449 got feet moving all across America. It plays 50 records in total, and there’s still a booming market today for collectors and professional restoration experts, proving that this funky machine has no trouble staying alive (ah, ah, ah, staying alive).

The 1980s - The Rock-Ola Techna 480

Coming into the 1980s, the aesthetic changed again. Back in the 80s, we loved everything to be big, bold and larger than life - and they’re all qualities neatly exhibited by the Rock-Ola Techna 480. It offset its boxy, space-age aesthetic with flashy vibrant colors designed to draw the eye, and energize anyone nearby. One thing’s for sure - it certainly got you Hooked On A Feeling.


The 1990s - The Rock-Ola CD Bubbler

The later stages of jukebox history are marked more for the evolutions in technology than in design. As you might expect, the question for manufacturers like us was: how do you keep a vintage technology relevant in an age of compact discs? The natural response to this question came in the form of the Rock Ola CD Bubbler, which used modern technology in a familiar, iconic form.


So what now?

The 2000s brought yet another evolution in the Rock-Ola Bubbler, and as digital music came to the forefront of the global zeitgeist, we answered with the Rock Ola Music Center. Oddly enough, in 2020 we’ve now come full circle, and today more and more of our discerning customers are looking for a machine that reminds them of a fondly-remembered bygone age.

We listened, and so we bring you the new authentic, premium Rock Ola Vinyl Bubbler! It effortlessly blends the old with the new, with a finely engineered vinyl mechanism taking center stage alongside Bluetooth capability. You can find out more about it here, or alternatively take a look through our full range of stunning Rock Ola jukeboxes. We promise you, there’s nothing quite like the real thing!