Last night I watched an adorable little film from 1944 called Swing Hostess and the plot of the film involves a stuggling singer who takes a job as an "automatic hostess" until she gets discovered.
I had never heard of this before, but in the early days of jukeboxes you had to call in a central location, a woman would answer with "Number please!", you would give her the number of the record you wanted to hear, and she would play it for you from a centralized location. The jukeboxes looked something like this:
I want one so bad!! LOOK AT IT!! Of course, no one will be on the other end which would make this object even more ghostly.
The film Swing Hostess gives a really good insight into what these women did and how it all worked. No doubt, if I were around then and as big of a music freak as I am in this lifetime I may have taken a job at one of these places.
*sigh* Such adorable jukeboxes with the pretty 1940s ladies on them. Apparently, these babies were too much of a hassle and the automatic jukebox eventually took over. The Automatic Hostess is a forgotten relic from the Golden Era in need of a comeback! YEAY!
You can watch the film Swing Hostess (1944) in it's entirety on the Internet Archive: Swing Hostess.