John Lennon’s jukebox

In 1989, John Lennon’s jukebox surfaced in an auction of Beatles memorabilia at Christie’s, and was sold for £2,500 ($4,907) to Bristol-based music promoter John Midwinter. Lennon had apparently bought the jukebox – specifically a Swiss KB Discomatic – in 1965, and filled it with forty singles to take with him on tour. Midwinter spent several years restoring the box and researching the discs catalogued in Lennon’s spidery handwriting. When Midwinter developed cancer, and his health began to deteriorate, his desire to see the player featured in some kind of documentary became all the more important.

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The story finally reached its wider public in 2004, when The South Bank Show broadcast a documentary on the jukebox in which many of the represented artists, along with Sting, were asked to comment. Developed by Steve Jansen for the British television production company Initial, headed by Malcolm Gerrie, the project took longer than was hoped to get picked up. This fact was rendered all the more poignant in that the show was commissioned mere days after Midwinter died. A compilation album was also released, containing thirty-four of the singles’ A-sides and seven of their B-sides.

The 2004 Compilation album named John Lennon’s Jukebox contains several songs that are believed to be part of John Lennon’s original choice. However the compilation album is labelled as "a collection inspired by music from his own collection" and some of the songs on the album are different versions from the ones that could have been included in the jukebox. The version of "Some Other Guy" by The Big Three, for instance, is not the one that was in the original jukebox but a mid-1970s recording by the same group.

Track Listings

1. In The Midnight Hour – Wilson Pickett
2. Rescue Me – Fontella Bass
3. The Tracks Of My Tears – Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
4. My Girl – Otis Redding
5. 1 – 2 – 3 – Len Barry
6. Hi-Heel Sneakers – Tommy Tucker
7. The Walk – Jimmy McCracklin
8. Gonna Send You Back To Georgia – Timmy Shaw
9. First I Look At The Purse – Contours
10. New Orleans – Gary U.S. Bonds
11. Watch Your Step – Bobby Parker
12. Daddy Rollin Stone – Derek Martin
13. Short Fat Fannie – Larry Williams
14. Long Tall Sally – Little Richard
15. Money (Thats What I Want) – Barrett Strong
16. Hey! Baby – Bruce Channel
17. Positively 4th Street – Bob Dylan
18. Daydream – The Lovin Spoonful
19. Turquoise – Donovan
20. Slippin & Slidin – Buddy Holly
21. Be-Bop-A-Lula – Gene Vincent
22. No Particular Place To Go – Chuck Berry
23. Steppin Out – Paul Revere & The Raiders
24. Do You Believe In Magic – The Lovin Spoonful
25. Some Other Guy – The Big Three
26. Twist & Shout – The Isley Brothers
27. She Said Yeah – Larry Williams
28. Brown Eyed Handsome Man – Buddy Holly
29. Slippin & Slidin – Little Richard
30. Quarter To Three – Gary U.S. Bonds
31. Ooh My Soul – Little Richard
32. Woman Love – Gene Vincent
33. Shop Around – The Miracles
34. Bring It On Home To Me – The Animals
35. If You Gotta Make A Fool Of Somebody – James Ray/Hutch Davie
36. Whats So Good About Goodbye – The Miracles
37. Bad Boy – Larry Williams
38. Agent Double O Soul – Edwin Starr
39. Ive Been Good To You – The Miracles
40. Oh I Apologize – Barrett Strong
41. Whos Lovin You – The Miracles