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The 10 Best Jukeboxes in Dallas

Sammy's Bar-B-Q in Dallas has a jukebox that is more than 50 years old, and it still plays 45s
Sammy's Bar-B-Q in Dallas has a jukebox that is more than 50 years old, and it still plays 45s
Rachel Watts

Jukeboxes serve a simple yet critical role in bars everywhere. They can help you cope after a breakup, relax you after a long day of work, remind you of what you love most or fire you up and give you something to dance to.

A jukebox used to be the imprint of a bar's spirit, hosting a select set of albums and songs that shed light on that bar's personality, the character of its regulars and ultimately the soul of the place. While they certainly aren't what they used to be, with digital jukeboxes playing anything you could possibly want, a few gems with lovingly hand-picked selections remain. Here are the 10 best in Dallas, Texas.

See also: -The 100 Best Texas Songs: The Complete List -The Ten Most Badass Band Names in DFW -The Best Bands in DFW: 2012 Edition -Photo Essay: The Tattoos of Dallas' Nightlife Scene

The jukebox at The Windmill Lounge on Maple Avenue
The jukebox at The Windmill Lounge on Maple Avenue
Rachel Watts

10. The Windmill Lounge Stats: The jukebox, which is at least 20 years old, according to the bar owner Charlie Papaceno, holds 100 CDs. Bartender says: "It has Tom Petty in there, which I loathe, but when people get drunk, they wanna hear Tom Petty." Music includes: Jennifer Lopez, Love?; Tom Petty, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers; Windmill Lounge Presents, Windmill Picks (a collection of customers' favorite tunes) featuring The Sopranos theme song, Beastie Boys, Santigold and Digital Underground.

The Londoner Uptown's jukebox
The Londoner Uptown's jukebox
Rachel Watts

9. The Londoner Uptown Stats: Although you might first mistake it for a newer internet jukebox, look again and you'll see that it's simply an updated CD jukebox. If you go to The Londoner in the early afternoon, the staff often has the jukebox set to "free" mode, and let customers pick songs to play. Staff says: "This is pretty much our staple. We prefer to use it over our Pandora station, although people come in and play the same songs over and over." Music includes: Fitz and the Tantrums, Pickin' Up the Pieces; Eric Clapton, 461 Ocean Boulevard; The Verve, Urban Hymns

The jukebox at The Ginger Man in Uptown
The jukebox at The Ginger Man in Uptown
Rachel Watts

8. Ginger Man Stats: This beer- and wine-only bar in Uptown has a jukebox that is a little more contemporary than most CD-holding bars in Dallas, which means that the staff changes it out more than most. Customer says: "This is the jukebox you can use if you want to impress a girl with your taste in music." Music includes: The National, Boxer; Misfits, Static Age; Bob Seger, Greatest Hits  

The jukebox at Lee Harvey's in South Dallas
The jukebox at Lee Harvey's in South Dallas

7. Lee Harvey's Stats: Surprisingly, for a bar that hosts exclusively country, Southern and rock 'n' roll bands, Lee Harvey's has a very eclectic jukebox that is more than a decade old. Bartender says: "People who have worked here over the years have contributed to it little by little, so it's got a really wide range." Music includes: Steely Dan, Two on One; Jet, Get Born; Elton John, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road

The jukebox at Cosmo's in Lakewood
The jukebox at Cosmo's in Lakewood
Rachel Watts

6. Cosmo's Stats: A bar that has a mod, sexy lounge-like celestial theme to it has a jukebox to match. Customer says: "I've been coming here for more than five years and I've never heard a song I didn't like." Music includes: Flaming Lips, Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots; Frank Sinatra, Classic Sinatra; M83, M83

The Crown & Harp jukebox on lower Greenville Avenue
The Crown & Harp jukebox on lower Greenville Avenue
Rachel Watts

5. The Crown & Harp Stats: Upstairs, there is a jukebox in the corner that doesn't look like it gets a ton of love, since local bands and DJs play there so often throughout the week, but the Crown & Harp has the best go-to jukebox to hear local music -- it is packed full of local CDs. Customer says: "They should play nothing but the jukebox in between bands' sets, and it'd be nothing but local music all the time." Music includes: Death Ray Davies, The Return of the Drunk Ventriloquist; John Singer Sergeant, John Singer Sergeant; Goodnight Ned, Smoke from the Sails

The jukebox at The Lakewood Landing
The jukebox at The Lakewood Landing
Rachel Watts

4. The Lakewood Landing Stats: The most diverse jukebox of this entire list, The Lakewood Landing boasts a CD-only jukebox that has a very diverse selection; from obscure local music to hip-hop to old Motown hits. For this reason, it was given the "Best Jukebox" award by us at the Observer in 2004, 2006 and 2008. Customer says: "There's nothing like playing pool to this jukebox. This bar wouldn't be the bar it is without its jukebox. It's just got the perfect music for it. Also, you can take a smoke break and hear the music over the speakers outside, so you don't have to miss anything." Music includes: King Bucks, Bar-B-Que Drugs; Heartless Bastards, Arrow; Led Zeppelin, Led Zeppelin III  

The jukebox at Ship's in East Dallas
The jukebox at Ship's in East Dallas
Rachel Watts

3. Ships Lounge Stats: This is by far one of the best jukeboxes for Motown hits in Dallas, and on a weekend there will be a line for the jukebox in Ships' simple, stripped-down atmosphere. Bartender says: "I would say that the jukebox itself brings a lot of people in here." Music includes: Sam Cooke, Twistin' the Night Away; Bobby Darin, The Rock 'n' Roll Years; Jackie Wilson, Mr. Excitement!

The jukebox at Adair's in Deep Ellum
The jukebox at Adair's in Deep Ellum
Rachel Watts

2. Adair's Stats: The jukebox in Adair's, which is at least 10 years old, replaced an even older one that took its place in the country bar six or seven years ago. Adair's has always had a jukebox filled with classic country, and according to staff, it is played daily. Customer says: "This is the best jukebox for when you've had a really long day at work." Music includes: Conway Twitty, Gold; Lucinda Williams, Car Wheels on a Gravel Road; David Allen Coe, 17 Greatest Hits

Sammy's Bar-B-Que's jukebox playlist
Sammy's Bar-B-Que's jukebox playlist
Rachel Watts

1. Sammy's Bar-B-Q Stats: One of the oldest working jukeboxes in Dallas, this one has been in place for more than a half-century, has roughly 100 albums in it and still plays 45s. Oh, and it's only 25 cents for two songs. Beat that. Manager says: "I love it for all of its old love songs, like Elvis. And when the guy came to fix the jukebox when it was broken for a while, he stole two or three of the albums out of it." Music includes: Elvis Presley, Elvis; B.B. King, King of the Blues; Billy Joel, River of Dreams

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Use Current Location

Related Locations

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Windmill Lounge
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Ginger Man
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Lee Harvey's

1807 Gould St.
Dallas, TX 75215

214-428-1555

www.leeharveys.com

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Cosmo's Bar and Lounge

1212 Skillman St.
Dallas, TX 75206

214-826-4200

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The Crown & Harp

1914 Greenville Ave.
Dallas, TX 75206

214-828-1914

www.thecrownandharp.com

miles
Lakewood Landing

5818 Live Oak St.
Dallas, TX 75214

214-823-2410

www.lakewood-landing.com

miles
Ships Lounge

1613 Greenville Ave.
Dallas, TX 75206

214-823-0418

miles
Adair's

2624 Commerce St.
Dallas, TX 75226-1402

214-939-9900

www.adairssaloon.com

miles
Sammy's Bar-B-Q

2126 Leonard St.
Dallas, TX 75201

214-880-9064

www.sammystexasbbq.com


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