Tunes on Tuesday

The Treasure Tour is chock full of tunes - paper rolls, sheet music, record albums, 8-track cassettes - you name it, we have something about it.  One thing all of these different forms of recording music reminds us of is just how things change over time.  Technology has evolved so dramatically that we no longer need to store our music in big paper rolls.  Now, we don't really need any kind of individual storage devices, because we can keep it in invisible "clouds" in the ether (which, of course, go back to giant facilities somewhere out of sight to most of us). Digital technology is nice and everything, but it means you don't really have anything to hold.

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A record album is tangible - the average 33-1/3 r.p.m. album is 11-23/32", almost a foot!  Not only does that fill your hands, but it comes with often impressive artwork (equally often, cheesy and forced poses by members of the band that recorded the music). Even audiocassettes are about four inches long, two-and-a-half inches high.  Not quite as dramatic as a record, but still something. Digital music might be stored in a flash drive shaped like your favorite cartoon character (Minions are pretty cool). Anyway, we love music in all its forms, and invite you to come experience ours, in all its shapes and formats.

Turntable Tuesday

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Rhetorical question:  Who doesn't like music?  Rhetorical answer:  People who do not appreciate the finer things in life.  Music is all around us, and that is (with maybe an exception here and there) a good thing.  The American Treasure Tour is full of music - music we play for you and music on display.  Aside from our amazing mechanical music collection, we have one of the grooviest record albums you could ever hope to see, with vinyl by your favorites from the 50's, 60's, 70's, 80's and 90's, including the best in Classic Rock, Country and Western, Soundtracks and, well, you name it.  Like Willie Nelson?  We got him!  Like Englebert Humperdinck?  You're in the right place.  But please don't misunderstand us, we never promised you a rose garden....


So. We have a serious question for you.  Do you like music?  

To be honest, if you don't enjoy a good song now and again, regardless of what genre it is, we might not know how to take it if you said, simply, "No."  Music is an integral part of being human, and we are glad we can share all sorts of music with guests here at the American Treasure Tour. Of course, our music tends to fall into two categories:  fun and awesome. Okay fine. We don't have any Jay-Z or Justin Bieber - the Double J, as we like to think of them - but we do have an amazing collection of sass, ragtime, classical, bluegrass and even Broadway musicals. 

The clip attached here is of The Emperor. The Emperor is in our collection, BUT this video predates us. This actually comes from the 1960's, when the machine was recorded for a Coca-Cola advertisement.

It looks a little sad and lonely in the video - but just come to the American Treasure Tour to see it in its full glory, surrounded by its new, weird family!

Leo Sayer "Endless Flight"

QUESTION:  The Muppet Show originally broadcast from 1976 through 1981 in syndication.  Which actor was  the special guest star in its last episode?
A)  Leo Sayer
B)  Roger Moore
C)  Steve Martin
D)  Linda Ronstadt

One of the favorite topics the American Treasure Tour blog consistently returns to is the wall of records in the Music Room. We love discussing the men and women who have recorded their songs in the hope either of becoming the next big musician or confirming their spot on the charts. Over the years, we have featured performers in numerous genres. Today, we are going to talk a little bit about one of the most accomplished singers of the '70's who is actually still performing to this day.  His name is Leo Sayer.  Born in England in 1948, Sayer started work as a hall porter in a hotel, where he got caught in a serious fire. Upon his recovery, he focused on music.  His manager was former pop singer turned manager Adam Faith, who led him to great success in the 1970's. Hands down, Sayers' most famous album is 1976's multi-platinum selling Endless Flight, which includes two of his biggest hits of the disco era: "You Make Me Feel Like Dancing" and "When I Need You."  He was so popular that he made an appearance on The Muppet Show!

Despite a success stretching decades, Sayer's career has had its challenges.  He sued both his manager, Adam Faith, and his label, Chrysalis, for mishandling his affairs. In the late-90's, he was compelled to tour in the effort to restore his finances. Fortunately, his fans came out in huge numbers.  Concert and album sales put him back on secure ground. A citizen of Australia now, Sayer continues to perform and record new music.

ANSWER:  B)  Roger Moore, best known as James Bond during the '70's and much of the '80's

J.P. Seeburg

QUESTION:  The Seeburg Symphonola Model 148 Jukebox was more popularly called what?
A)  The Bubblemaker
B)  Timmy
C)  The Trashcan
D)  The Dancer

The American Treasure Tour is a wonderful place. Not only is there plenty to see and hear here, but our collective culture dominates everywhere you look. Some of the names that appear are still familiar today, even though the pioneers connected to them lived a long time ago. Today and tomorrow, the blog would like to honor a man whose creations changed how people listened to music throughout the twentieth century.  

Justus P. Seeburg was born in Gotthenburg, Sweden in 1871 and attended a manual training school there, which was located next to the Malinjos piano factory.  He developed a love for the piano and, when he emigrated to the United States in 1887, he settled in Chicago, where he pursued a career in piano construction. Within ten years, he moved to the Marquette Piano Company, makers of the "Cremona" pneumatic coin pianos better known as nickelodeons.  This is where Seeburg learned how to make these machines, which inspired him to establish the J.P. Seeburg Piano Company.  Between 1910 and 1920, the coin piano industry boomed, and Seeburg was riding the wave - moving to larger and larger facilities during the decade.  His great success can be accredited to a few reasons:  his machines were excellently constructed, they were durable, and they were beautiful. He reduced the price for manufacturing them by using standardized parts between the machines, which made repairing them easier, too.  Most significantly, though, he provided incentives to piano dealers to sell his machines. While other companies refused non-licensed store owners the right to sell their machines, Seeburg not only allowed anyone to sell them, but he was much more generous in sharing the profits with them. By the 1920's, Seeburg dominated the market and, in fact, designed what would become the best-selling nickelodeon of all time, the Seeburg L, or "Liliputian."  The small upright machine was a perfect compliment to tight quarters, such as speakeasies during Prohibition.  Stay tuned for more exciting information on Seeburg!

ANSWER:  C)  The Trashcan

Sting - October 2, 2014

Happy 63rd Birthday to Sting! Born Gordon Sumner in Wallsend, England, he was drawn to music as a child. By the age of 25, he was working as a schoolteacher and started playing with jazz bands. Because he often wore a black and yellow striped shirt that reminded his bandmates of a bee, one of them nicknamed him “Sting.” Within a few years, Sting had started a little band called The Police. Although they were only together from 1977 to 1983, The Police earned six Grammys, were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and have become one of the world’s best-selling artists of all time with over 75 million records sold. Sting has enjoyed a diverse and successful solo career since the early 1980s. 


Sting has acted in several films, perhaps most infamously is 1984’s sci-fi fantasy Dune. The film was directed by David Lynch, but what actor/director considered directing it at one point?

a) Robert Redford

b) Jack Nicholson

c) Woody Allen

d) Clint Eastwood

Answer below!


Enjoy today’s earworm as The Police perform “Message in a Bottle.”

Sting’s most recent endeavor is a musical called The Last Ship, currently on Broadway. Here he is performing on this year’s Tony awards. 


Sting takes in an average of $2000.00 per day in royalties for this now 20 year old song "Every Breath You Take." The song is officially the most requested radio song of all time.


Sting is godfather to Madonna’s son, Rocco Ritchie.


The geniuses of music, like Bach and Miles Davis, used silence beautifully; they were not about using as many notes as possible. They knew that playing almost nothing can be the most elegant and eloquent thing to do.



b) Jack Nicholson 

Chubby Checker - September 19, 2014

Born Ernest Evans, Chubby Checker is an American singer-songwriter who rose to fame with his cover of Hank Ballard's song "The Twist."  On this day in 1960, Checker's version hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.



Chubby Checker made an appearance on the second season of what TV show, where "The Twist" was also featured?

a) Dallas

b) Perfect Strangers

c) Quantum Leap

d) CSI

See the answer below!



"Ever see a little kid walking around talking to himself? I'm the same way."  Chubby Checker


Chubby Checker popularized various dance styles.  One of them, still being danced today, is called "The Fly."


c) Quantum Leap


The Four Seasons – September 15, 2014

On September 15th, 1962, The Four Seasons earned their first #1 hit with the song “Sherry.”  With roots in old-fashioned doo-wop, this group of four was known as the Godfathers of Italian-American soul.


From what eastern US city did The Four Seasons originate?

a)      Newark, NJ

b)      New York City, NY

c)       Red Bank, NJ

Answer below!


The Four Seasons “Sherry”

Bob Gaudio talks about how he wrote “Sherry.”


The Four Seasons have actually recorded and released songs under variety of names.  Some of these include The Valli Boys, The Wonder Who?, and Frankie Valli.  Frankie Valli’s first post-1950’s single without being backed by The Seasons was 1975’s “Swearin’ to God.”



a)      Newark, NJ

American Bandstand - August 5, 2014

Happy American Bandstand Day! On this day in 1957, American Bandstand premiered on ABC, bringing the local Philadelphia show to the nation. It was hosted by Dick Clark, lovingly nicknamed “American’s oldest teenager.” The popular dance show introduced several musical acts to the country, including Paul Anka, Ike and Tina Turner, Gary “U.S” Bonds, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, Gladys Knight & the Pips, Aretha Franklin, Sonny and Cher, Neil Diamond, The Guess Who, and a 12-year-old Stevie Wonder.



Simon and Garfunkel were one of the first acts to appear on American Bandstand in 1957, but at the time they were called…

a)   Lewis & Clark

b)   Bugs & Daffy

c)    Tom & Jerry

d)   Paul & Art

Answer below!


Watch The Beach Boys uncomfortably lip-sync “Don’t Worry Baby” followed by an interview with Dick Clark in this 1964 clip.  


I don't set trends. I just find out what they are and exploit them.
~Dick Clark


We found this Dick Clark record in the Toy Box. Think you can find it?

We found this Dick Clark record in the Toy Box. Think you can find it?


c) Tom & Jerry