In 1889…In San Francisco, the Palais Royal Hotel installed the first coin-operated machine that, by about 1940, was known as a "jukebox." In the beginning it was a crude slot-machine apparatus connected to an Edison phonograph which, upon receiving a coin, unlocked the mechanism, allowing the listener to turn a crank that simultaneously wound the spring motor and placed the reproducer's stylus in the starting groove. This was before the time of vacuum tubes, so there was no amplification. The music was heard via one of four listening tubes. Despite its then-high price of a nickel a song, the new contraption took in $1000 in its first six months of operation.
In 1938…Bob Hope and Shirley Ross recorded his future theme song, "Thanks For The Memory," for the soundtrack of the motion picture "The Big Broadcast of 1938."
In 1959…Alan Freed was dismissed from his daily television show, "The Big Beat," over allegations that he accepted money to play certain records. Freed denied any wrongdoing.
In 1962…The Beatles did a ten-minute audition for BBC Television at St. James' Church Hall in London. Four days later, Brian Epstein received a polite rejection letter from the BBC. They eventually made it on the BBC in 1963.
In 1964…The Rolling Stones were late arriving for the BBC radio shows, "Top Gear" and "Saturday Club" and as a result were banned by the BBC for "unprofessionalism."
In 1967…San Francisco disc jockey Tom Donahue, inventor of "classic rock" and "deep cut" radio, told Rolling Stone magazine, "Top Forty radio, as we know it today and have known it for the last ten years, is dead, and its rotting corpse is stinking up the airwaves."
In 1993….FCC makes C-QUAM AM stereo standard. WBZ-AM Boston playing Christmas music on Christmas Eve 1993 in C-Quam AM Stereo. This was recorded via skyway 480 miles from Boston in Lockport, NY, near Buffalo.
In 2004…pioneering sports radio talk show host Pete Franklin died at age 76. Franklin's stops included Cleveland and New York with his last job at KNBR, San Francisco.