The Seeburg 1000 Background Music System is a phonograph designed and built by the Seeburg Corporation to play background music from special 162⁄3 RPM vinyl records in offices, restaurants, retail businesses, factories and similar locations. It provided a service similar to that of Muzak. Click here for more.
RadioCoast.com started back in 2002 as a Smooth Jazz stream. We had 40 available streams, and they were all filled 24/7. We had listeners from all over the world including Poland, Italy, and China. After 2 years, BMI & ASCAP decided to clamp down on Internet broadcasters, forcing them to pay huge fees. Even "hobby" broadcasters were slapped with $500 charges. We were forced to shut down the stream, and it remained silent until 2011 when I brought it back to feature music from the Seeburg 1000.
The Seeburg 1000 records play at 16 2/3 RPM which in most cases is only good for voice quality. The original "Talking Books
" used by blind people were, for the most part, the only people using this super-slow speed. But back in the 60's the Seeburg engineers came up with a way to squeeze a LOT of music on to a record going that slow. You can read about how they did it here.
Since the grooves were so small (400 per inch) it doesn't take much to make a scratch or cause a pop or click. Also, unless the record is perfectly centered sometimes you will hear a record sound wobbly. The same sound can be heard when the rubber on the Seeburg 1000 turntable wheel starts to wear out.
Back in the days before the Seeburg 1000, this type of music was delivered over a dedicated telephone line. Music through a telephone line is pretty bad, so the ability to bring such fidelity to the industry was a major step forward.
Remember, the Seeburg 1000 is a Background
Music System. It was never designed to be played though 600 watt home or car stereo systems at loud volume and 20-20,000 hz frequency response. It was designed to be played at low-level as mood setting music, much like Smooth Jazz is today.
In most cases, no. One of my projects is to digitize all the records I have picked up along the way. This allows me to clean them up, remove the pops & clicks, and make them sounds as good as they did back in 1963. When I am done, there should be about 6,000 individual tracks. Those tracks are being played on a radio station automation system called Station Playlist
and then encoded using a SHOUTcast server.
My reason for doing this is:
- It's fun...that's why they call it "a hobby"
- Records, especially ones nearly 50 years old, can on occation get stuck, and if I'm at work or asleep, it could stay stuck for 8 hours...a disc jockey's nightmare!
- Safety! While these units are built like tanks, they are 50 years old and who knows if a motor might burn up and set the place on fire.
But occasionally I will hook them up. When one of the units is actually on-line, I'll post a notice on the front page of this site.
Here are some great links:
It's a hobby. Plus it was my way of preserving a bit of history. Granted, some people may not think much of elevator music, but I have a friend that collects old washing machines and vacuum cleaners [ website
] ...so I can't be totally nuts!
There are 8 library names that I have been able to find:
Each has a different sound, depending on where the 1000 was going to be used. Offices might use the Basic library, while a fancy restaurant would probably prefer the Encore set.
Right now I have the Seeburg 1000 BMS, made in 1963. I also have a Seeburg 1000 BMC, which is the smaller unit without an amplifier or speaker. So far I have two promotional records that were published by Seeburg to promote the 1000's; one is called Mood Music, and the other is Now Sounds. Musically I have about 250 of the special 9" records that play on the Seeburg 1000. I also have several original sales brochures from 1963.
Not specifically for RadioCoast.com, but you can use such apps as TuneIn
to listen to us on your iPhone or Droid phones. We are listed in both directories under RadioCoast.com.
You can also use other apps that allow you to plug in our stream URL which is: http://126.96.36.199:8407
If you've got one of those fancy table-top internet radios, you can listen to us by entering this URL: