Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Automatic Hostess

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.


  1. I love that last image you posted, the lobby card. I'm going to have to watch this movie now.

  2. Director Sam Newfield cranked out over 250 feature films, a record no one else ever came close to.

  3. This is TOTALLY COOL and something I have never heard of.


Dress #8 -- Simplicity 7382 (1976)