Nickelodeon Theater - Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The word "nickelodeon" means something different to different people.  For example, since 1979, people in the United States have associated it with a television channel geared towards entertaining and educating children.  We here at the American Treasure Tour use the word to identify the mechanical music machines we play for our visitors.  But it was first used to describe an early form of the music palace.  Back around 1905, people in big cities converted storefronts into makeshift theaters, charging five cents (a nickel) to enter their theater (the Greek word for 'roofed-over' theater is odeion). 

The first recorded time the word 'nickelodeon' was ever used, though, was not for a theater but for a dime museum.  Austin's Nickelodeon, opened in 1888 in Boston, Massachusetts, displayed unusual items normally associated with the circus freak show.  Seven years later, Harry Davis and John P. Harris opened the Nickelodeon in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, what would be considered the first theater established specifically and solely for showing short movies one after the other (other venues tended to incorporate vaudeville acts in their entertainment).  Within a couple of years, they had literally thousands of store owners imitate their format around the country and the original nickelodeon was born.

By 1913, the popularity of nickelodeons caused their demise.  More and more people wanted to see movies, so they demanded larger auditoriums and longer films.  Movie theaters became a normal part of most towns and cities around the country after that.  It wasn't until 1949 that a popular song, Music! Music! Music! incorporated the popular refrain, "Put another nickel in, in the nickelodeon..." and the word became associated with mechanical music machines.  Prior to that, they would have been known as orchestrions or, maybe less accurately, electric pianos.
QUESTION:  Which famous artist did NOT perform a popular version of "Music! Music! Music!"?
A)  Bing Crosby
B)  Petula Clark
C)  Frank Sinatra
D)  Bill Haley & His Comets
ANSWER BELOW

GIMME A NICKEL! - The Year That We Put In Another Nickel.  Stephen Weiss and Bernie Baum were songwriters.  Baum had a distinguished career writing an impressive number of songs for Elvis Presley; however, one of his most famous songs was "Music! Music! Music!" which was performed by numerous artists to varying success, but most notably Teresa Brewer who, despite a distinguished career that including recording over five hundred songs in many genres, including country, jazz, rhythm and blues, musical numbers and novelty songs, is best known today for this incredibly catchy memorable song.  She was, however, only 18 years old when she made "Music! Music! Music!" a teenage girl traveling the country with her aunt, performing on various talent shows and at different night clubs.  Her career spanned decades, before she quietly passed away in 2007 at the age of 76.

ANSWER:  C)  Frank Sinatra.  The other three artists all had varying levels of success with the song, although none so much as Teresa Brewer