Blog, Music, Obsession of the Day, Tech — August 2, 2013 11:39 am

Obsession of the Day: Scopitone

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Today’s Obsession:  Scopitone

Some people are really into baseball, others might prefer winning a game of poker, but my obsession of the day is Scopitone!

scopitone01

Never having seen one myself, I’ve been trying to make sense of everything I’ve read about this machine.  From what I can gather, it’s a jukebox that played music videos.  Scopitone’s popularity peaked in the 1960s and died a slow, quiet death over the next decade or so.  Many of the videos shared a distinct style, almost feeling like something out of the campiest Batman episode ever.

Is that the Joker and Batman surfing in the background?

This is an unexpected parody.

A song about a lonely man and calendars.

archiescopitone01

Betty and Veronica, always at the forefront of cool, are blown away by a Scopitone.

Don’t expect to stumble across a Scopitone video by The Beatles or the Stones, as they shied away from the format.  They also didn’t have anyone in the band who looked good in a bikini.  Sorry, Ringo.  Instead, you can enjoy the hits of Jacques Dutronc and Frank Alamo.

Supposedly, one of these machines still stands in Tennessee.  Guess I have my next vacation already planned!

How I stumbled across Scopitone:  I looked up the song “Calendar Girl” on YouTube.

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