"Play-Me Records" im Archiv von Jukebox-World

ROWE-AMI "Play Me" Records


(Information Erwin Boot; photos Donald Resor and Benjamin Thoburn)

Back in the 1960's (in particular 1966), the luminaries at Rowe-AMI had the idea to have various artists record a "Come on and play me, the Rowe AMI stereo juke box over in the corner" record in the hope of stimulating juke box-play on site. These were introduced with the MM-1 "Music Merchant" model in September/October 1966 (along with the "PhonoVue", Dollar Bill acceptor and "Change-a-Scene" functions).


From memory there were about 60 records, all bright red vinyl with a white label, with many different artists and groups - most records have a different artist on the A- & B-sides.  


The 30-second records seemed to tickle the fancy of most of the juke box operators.


There are 4 types of "Play Me" records available:
The first, and the most popular, is the actual celebrity artist. On these, the record starts with the artist singing a chorus or two of his song. Then he/she stops singing and tells the customer to come over and play the juke box (especially his/her record).

The other 3 types of "Play Me" records centre around comedy impersonation and the voice of "Rita Rowe". The comedy discs contain messages based on an exaggerated mimicking of famous performers, such as Mae West. On several of the records, the voice of Rita Rowe, backed by soft music, asks the location's patrons to liven up the house - "go over and play the juke box". Other records featuring Rita Rowe, tells patrons that the juke box accepts dollar bills.


Known "Play Me" records at this time (April 2012) - tunes and photos courtesy of Donald R. Resor:

Records with artists:


A- side B-side
1003 Andy Williams  ♫

Tony Bennett  ♫


Herb Alpert  ♫

Al Martino  ♫


Sonny James  ♫

Ray Price  ♫

1006 Vic Dana  ♫

Mel Carter  ♫

1007 Petula Clark 

Lainie Kazan 

1008 Boots Randolph  ♫

Johnny Rivers  ♫

1009 Johnny Tillotsen  ♫

Al Caiola  ♫

The particular 45 rpm record vinyl IS a red and black mixture as seen in the pictures.
It also appears this was actually in a machine for quite some time as there are gripper marks around the edge and diagonal marks across the record face itself from a jukebox record basket. Luckily the fidelity is quite good.

Kirby Walker  ♫

Kirby Walker  ♫

1011 Marimba Band  ♫

Dr. West's Medicine Show & Junk Band  ♫

This record has Wilson Pickett on the A-side doing a short burst of "Mustang Sally" and then a short exhortation to play the Rowe AMI stereo juke box; he also mentions "Land of 1000 Dances".  The B-side is Kirby Walker doing the same sort of thing.

Wilson Pickett 

Kirby Walker 

1013 The Buckinghams 

Don Rondo 

This record has Brian Hyland on the A-side doing a short burst of one of his songs from a new album then coming up, and then a short exhortation to play the Rowe-AMI stereo juke box. The B-side is Joe Harnell doing the same sort of thing; year 1966, 45 rpm Promo 7 inch record

Brian Hyland 

Joe Harnell 

Impersonation records:


A- side B-side
Record 2
year 1966; as written in pen on the sleeve it says that the A side is Mae West but it doesn't sound at all like her. So it  is probably Rita Rowe like Erwin Boot gives info about.
Mae West  ♫

Peter Lorre  ♫

Record 6 Interpret: ?  ♫


Gloria ?  ♫


Record 7 Interpret: ?  ♫


Interpret: ?


Record 8 Mary Lou  ♫


Interpret: ?


Record 11 Will Jordan

Will Jordan

Record 12 Will Jordan  ♫

Will Jordan



The "Play Me" function was brought on by a timing mechanism inside the MM-1 (and later) juke boxes (see Don Resor's contribution below). This feature (which could be set to anywhere between one minute and 30 minutes of dead-time) became enabled after the pre-determined length of dead-time (no selections) on the juke. There were probably 10 record spots allocated in the magazine, from which, after the set period of inactivity, the juke pulled one of the "Play Me" records at random and played it, frightening the hell out of those in the bar who hadn't seen anybody go over and feed the juke!


Operators were provided with two "Play Me" records with the purchase of each MM-1 juke box, and extra records were available from the Rowe-AMI juke box distributors.

A very interesting bit of juke box (and in particular, Rowe-AMI) history.


Photo courtesy Benjamin Thoburn



Service Manual PLAY-ME Feature - 2 MB pdf
Courtesy of Donald R. Resor


If one has information if this feature was available from other companies, too - please get in touch with us. Thanks!



Die Angaben haben keinen Anspruch auf Vollständigkeit oder Richtigkeit.
Bei den (importierten) Boxen können im Laufe der Jahre durchaus Veränderungen vorgenommen worden sein. Copyright.

<<<  zurück zur Archiv-Übersicht

Ein Service von
Jukebox-World Jukeboxen Jukeboxes Jukeboxparts Jukebox parts
Copyright by Stamann Musikboxen