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Seeburg Mood Music 16 2/3 RPM Records



HERE'S THE INFO ABOUT THEM...


The Seeburg 1000 phonograph

was introduced in 1959 as model BMS1.

[1] The system replaced the Seeburg "Library Unit" which served the same purpose, but played standard 45 rpm records. The Seeburg 1000 is enclosed in a metal cabinet 22 inches (55 cm) wide by 14 inches (35 cm) tall by 12 inches (30 cm) deep.[2]

A later version called the Seeburg Background Music Compact, model BMC1, is housed in a windowless, blue and grey painted metal box. This version contains only the record playing mechanism, without any amplifier or timer built in.[3]

The player is capable of playing both sides of up to 28 records and repeating the process indefinitely. The records are stacked on the spindle with the first side to be played on the bottom of the stack. A special tone arm with two needles, one above and one below, is used to play both sides of each record.

A rotating baseplate below the records prevents damage to the bottom playing surface while restacking the records. A similar weight on top of the stack ensures stable playback of the bottom side of the topmost record.


1959 Seeburg "Basic" Record

The Seeburg Background Music record is a vinyl record of a non-standard size of 9 inches (23 cm) diameter with a 2 inch (5 cm) center hole. The recording is monaural, with a playing speed of 16⅔ rpm and a density of 420 grooves per inch.[2] A 0.5 mil diamond stylus is used for reproduction. Each side contains approximately 40 minutes of music, typically 20 songs. Records in every series are numbered 1-28 or 101-128. These numbers tell you nothing except where the record was supposed to go in a stack.

The records were distributed quarterly in boxes of seven. The operator was supposed to replace records in the system with new records of the same number (i.e. MM-125). Each box is labeled with the library type, date to place in service, and instructions to the operator. These instructions also specify that each record is to be returned to Seeburg after use. Upon return, the records were destroyed. A Basic library box from 1971 states that the records are the property of Seeburg Music Library, Inc., 1510 N. Dayton St, Chicago 22, Ill.


1969 Seeburg "Mood" Record

Seeburg provided three different libraries of music with the Seeburg 1000 system: Basic, Mood and Industrial. These series names were changed to Lifestyle, Penthouse, and Upbeat in the 1980s.
The Basic library consisted of medium tempo music, culled from top 40 hits, show tunes and standards. The arrangements, created just for Seeburg, were nearly all instrumental and featured horns, strings and keyboards.
The Mood library consisted of medium-slow tempo songs, in lush arrangements with mostly stringed instruments. The music derived from standards, show tunes and some pop music. The first song on each side of each record was often a current pop hit.

The Industrial library consisted of medium-fast tempo music of a lively nature, to induce workers to be more productive. This was perhaps the most varied and adventurous of the libraries; it contained polkas, mariachi music, twangy guitar, Hawaiian songs, and even the occasional synthesizer.

A fraction of the records were changed out every three months - on April 1, July 1, October 1 and December 26. The number of records changed at each three-month interval was five in 1963[5] but was seven according to record boxes issued in 1966 and later. The first sets of Seeburg 16 rpm records issued in 1959 had a five-pointed star in the space later used for the "place-in-use" dates. This was superseded by a notice which read "Replace No. 1", "Replace No. 5" etc. This meant "Replacement Records - Set No. 1", "Set No. 5" etc. In 1961, this was again superseded by the "place in use" dates which were in use through the end of 1975. For the April 1, 1976 sets, the "place in use" dates were replaced by a code: RR-66. This meant "replacement records - set #66" and the number advanced with each subsequent set. As time went on, the records were sent out less and less on schedule. The last sets were sent out in 1986 and bore the code R-97.

The Christmas holiday season required a special set of records. A box of 25 Christmas records was issued to be played during the month of December. This set consisted of Christmas music interspersed with non-holiday music.

It was the job of the machine operators to replace all Christmas music with the standard fare on December 26. This job was a large undertaking - in New York, "the entire service and installation force, and even the office help, are pressed into service to still the sound of Christmas past for another 11 months."[5]