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beetle organ

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beetle organ n Also sp beatle organ, beedle ~ [Etym unknown] chiefly AR

A jukebox; hence n beatle joint a juke joint.
1938 Blytheville Courier News (AR) 12 Oct 1/3, Alderman John C. McHaney suggested to the council that the city was overlooking a good source of revenue in not taxing the so-called “beetle organs.” 1941 Writers’ Program Guide Arkansas 171 cAR, Farther to the east on Washington are the Negro honky-tonks whose “beedle-organ” records resound late into the night with the measured thump of blues rhythms and the frenzied trumpets of swing. 1942 (1996) Huie Mud Stars 1 cnAL, We are likkering up in a honkytonk. The beetle organ, all lit up like a passionate gargoyle, is giving out with Remember Pearl Harbor. 1971 Today Show Letters AR, seMO (as of c1940), A few words used in most of Ark. and Southeastern Mo. differed from those in Memphis. . . Instead of “Honky Tonk” for a local beer joint they used the word “Beatle Joint”. This followed by using the word “Beatle Organ” for what we called a Nickelodian [sic].
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