Dusty Diner’s Juke-O-Matic

The Dusty Diner needs music! Diners of the 1950s had juke boxes filled with single-play records. “Wallboxes” on the tables of each booth let you play any of the songs by inserting a coin into a wallbox and pressing a pair of buttons corresponding to the song that you wanted to hear.

I’ve called the Dusty Diner’s version of a wallbox a Juke-O-Matic. This foot-high painted wooden box has a shiny metal panel. It lists 64 songs from the 1950s and early 1960s on a piece of paper visible in a back-lit window. Do you want to hear “Mr. Sandman” by The Chordettes? The list shows that’s code “B6”. Press the B button and then the 6 button, and you’ll hear Janet, Carol, Lynn, and Margie harmonize their Billboard #1 from 1954.

Since Burning Man allows no commerce, no coin is needed. All plays are free!

The Juke-O-Matic lets you put up to four songs in a playlist. The OLED screen above the buttons shows the song that is currently playing and the remaining songs in the queue. If you want to stop the current song and skip to the next, press and hold the red “eject” button.

The Juke-O-Matic will be mounted on the Dusty Diner’s table for easy access.


The Juke-O-Matic’s enclosure is inspired by Seeburg wallboxes like the 20-play model W1-L56 and the 200-play model 3WA, shown below. The Juke-O-Matic takes the painted finish and the static song display from the W1-L56, but to let it play more than just 20 songs, it adopts the letter/digit control of later models like the 3WA. Overall, the enclosure will be made from a paint-grade wood like poplar, and the front panel will be milled from 1/8″ aluminum sheet.

The free font used for the name of the Juke-O-Matic is called Fontdinerdotcom Sparkly.

Seeburg wallboxes: model W1-L56 and model 3WA.



Inside the Juke-O-Matic is a custom mp3 audio-file player. The player’s primary components are:

  • Microcontroller: Arduino Uno
  • Audio Player: Adafruit “Music Maker” MP3 Shield
  • Audio Memory: 4-gigabyte SD Card
  • LCD Character Display Module: Newhaven Display model NHD-0440WH-ATFH-JT#
  • Pushbuttons: Adafruit 16-mm momentary pushbuttons PID 1479 (white) and PID 1439 (red)
  • Backlight: White LED strip from coolneon.com

The Juke-O-Matic will be powered by a DC/DC Converter. The converter’s input is 36 volts from the main battery, and its output is 9 volts needed by the Arduino. Since the Arduino can be powered by 12 volts, an open question is whether the DC/DC Converter will be dedicated to the Juke-O-Matic or will be shared with other parts of the Dusty Diner that need 12 volts.


I’ve selected songs from the 1950s that I like and that I think will be enjoyed by others at Burning Man.

Here is the current list. The songs are in chronological order by the dates that they acheived fame (the date of the song’s top Billboard rank or the date of its broadcast exposure, or lacking those, the date of its release).

A1 - MUSIC! MUSIC! MUSIC! - Teresa Brewer           E1 - THAT'LL BE THE DAY - The Crickets
A2 - THE THIRD MAN THEME - Anton Karas              E2 - WAKE UP LITTLE SUSIE - The Everly Bros.
A3 - GET HAPPY - Judy Garland                       E3 - JAILHOUSE ROCK - Elvis Presley
A4 - THE THING - Phil Harris                        E4 - GREAT BALLS OF FIRE - Jerry Lee Lewis
A5 - GOOD MORNING - Kelly, Reynolds, O'Conner       E5 - YOU SEND ME - Sam Cooke
A6 - SH-BOOM - The Chords                           E6 - AT THE HOP - Danny & The Juniors
A7 - GOODNIGHT, SWEETHEART - McGuire Sisters        E7 - LOLLIPOP - The Chordettes
A8 - EARTH ANGEL - The Penguins                     E8 - GET A JOB - The Silhouettes
B1 - I NEED YOU NOW - Eddie Fisher                  F1 - TEQUILA - The Champs
B2 - MR. SANDMAN - The Chordettes                   F2 - JOHNNY B. GOODE - Chuck Berry
B3 - I GOT A WOMAN - Ray Charles                    F3 - YAKETY YAK - The Coasters
B4 - SINCERELY - The McGuire Sisters                F4 - TWILIGHT TIME - The Platters
B5 - AIN'T THAT A SHAME - Fats Domino               F5 - ALL I HAVE TO DO IS DREAM - Everly Bros.
B6 - ONLY YOU - The Platters                        F6 - THE PURPLE PEOPLE EATER - Sheb Wooley
B7 - ROCK AROUND THE CLOCK - Haley and Comets       F7 - TEARS ON MY PILLOW - Little Anthony
B8 - LEARNIN’ THE BLUES - Frank Sinatra             F8 - HARD HEADED WOMAN - Elvis Presley
C2 - MEMORIES ARE MADE OF THIS - Dean Martin        G2 - SUMMERTIME BLUES - Eddie Cochran
C3 - IN THE STILL OF THE NIGHT - Five Satins        G3 - CHARLIE BROWN - The Coasters
C4 - LISBON ANTIGUA - Nelson Riddle                 G4 - DREAM LOVER - Bobby Darin
C5 - BLUE SUEDE SHOES - Carl Perkins                G5 - A TEENAGER IN LOVE - Dion & The Belmonts
C6 - POOR PEOPLE OF PARIS - Les Baxter              G6 - COME SOFTLY TO ME - The Fleetwoods
C7 - HEARTBREAK HOTEL - Elvis Presley               G7 - I ONLY HAVE EYES FOR YOU - The Flamingos
C8 - HOUND DOG - Elvis Presley                      G8 - MACK THE KNIFE - Bobby Darin
D1 - DON'T BE CRUEL - Elvis Presley                 H1 - POISON IVY - The Coasters
D2 - LOVE ME TENDER - Elvis Presley                 H2 - TELL LAURA I LOVE HER - Ray Peterson
D3 - LITTLE DARLIN' - The Diamonds                  H3 - ARE YOU LONESOME TONIGHT? - Presley
D4 - LUCILLE - Little Richard                       H4 - RUNAROUND SUE - Dion
D5 - PARTY DOLL - Buddy Knox                        H5 - THE LION SLEEPS TONIGHT - The Tokens
D6 - WHOLE LOTTA SHAKIN' GOIN' ON - J.L.Lewis       H6 - MISIRLOU - Dick Dale
D7 - BYE BYE LOVE - Everly Brothers                 H7 - THE LOCO-MOTION - Little Eva
D8 - TEDDY BEAR - Elvis Presley                     H8 - ONE FINE DAY - The Chiffons


A few early 1960s songs are included. If I choose more 1950s songs, the 1960s songs will be pushed off of the list.

Updated December 18, 2017: After reviewing an archive of Billboard Top 100 lists, I added a few songs and removed a few others. The number of songs remained the same.