In the 1930s, a Seattle entrepreneur created a successful analog streaming platform—and ran it out of a drugstore
Great article! What really fascinating stuff! Other than the Bellamy novel "Looking Back", everything in this article was all utterly new to me. I absolutely love that! I'm also very impressed that you actually know Bellamy's novel--even though it made waves back when it was written, practically nobody today has ever heard of it. I simply can't compliment you enough for this article. I really enjoyed reading it. Thank you so much for writing it and for bringing these wonderfully prescient products and services (which I never previously know a thing about) to my attention. The associated pictures were excellent too.
How did I work at the Bremerton Sun for three years and never know about this?!?!? Wow. Great stuff.
Great little historical tidbit. As I’m building my Spotify Ted Gioia lists (for History of Jazz and for Jazz Standards), I’m amazed at what is available to stream today.
Enjoyed the piece, thanks.
My music life changed when the first cable vendor came to Columbia, Missouri, circa 1980, and piped in not only television but radio. It was when I discovered The Quiet Storm out of Washington DC. It was part of my jazz journey.
Fantastic! Thanks for sharing facts I never knew. As a grocery store employee, the first thing we did when the store closed to customers was switch off the Muzak.
Europe was really a leader here. Commercial broadcast of music and news over telephone lines began in the 1890s in Paris and Budapest. But Shyver's "telephone jukebox" was unique, and a great look forward.
I love the use of the landline for a jukebox. Never heard this before, thanks for posting!
LOOKING BACKWARD by Bellamy not nearly as widely forgotten as you might think, Robert Schaffer...and I think, Ted, that Bellamy explicitly cited phone lines with high fidelity...but it's been nearly fifty years since I read the novel. Good work!
Clement Ader's Theatrophone also ran in Europe from 1890-1932. Subscribers included Marcel Proust and Queen Victoria: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Théâtrophone
Apart from Cahill who couldn't get Bell Telephone to allow him the use of dedicated telephone lines for the transmission of music to restaurants (in 1906) there was (at least) one other important "dreamer":
Lee de Forest, owner of some important radio / telephone patents (and later FM), began in 1909 with transmissions (via telephone) from the New York Metropolitian Opera.
Fascinating! In the Uk they had this in the 70s: https://retroscoop.wordpress.com/2014/02/05/dial-a-disc/
Great article. Whatever happened to Muzak? I wonder who curated their playlists.
This was all new to me! Fantastic look back at what was then cutting edge technology.
A new web3 streaming service called Audius on the Solana blockchain promises much higher percentage to artists and some new functionality such as automatic payment to multiple parties and other protections to benefit artists. https://audius.org/