Emerson Amusement Company http://emersonamusement.com Emerson Amusement Company Fri, 13 Apr 2018 21:42:34 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.6 http://emersonamusement.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/cropped-emersonround-32x32.png Emerson Amusement Company http://emersonamusement.com 32 32 AMOA-New York Honors Punk Rockers C.J. Ramone, Dick Manitoba As Jukebox Artists Of The Year And AMI’s John Margold As Man Of The Year http://emersonamusement.com/amoa-new-york-honors-punk-rockers-c-j-ramone-dick-manitoba-as-jukebox-artists-of-the-year-and-amis-john-margold-as-man-of-the-year/ Fri, 13 Apr 2018 21:42:34 +0000 http://emersonamusement.com/?p=610
AMOA-New York Honors Punk Rockers C.J. Ramone, Dick Manitoba As Jukebox Artists Of The Year And AMI’s John Margold As Man Of The Year
Posted On: 4/12/2018
Source: Vending Times

NEW YORK CITY — Rock and Roll Hall of Famers C.J. Ramone of The Ramones and Richard “Handsome Dick” Manitoba of The Dictators are New York’s 2018 Jukebox Artists of the Year.

AMOA-New York president Ken Goldberg (c.) of Emerson Amusement Co. (Woodside, NY) presents the 2018 Jukebox Artists of the Year plaques to punk rock legends C.J. Ramone (l.) and Richard “Handsome Dick” Manitoba (r).

The Amusement and Music Owners Association of New York honored the fathers of punk, both New York natives, along with AMI Entertainment Network’s John Margold, a veteran in the jukebox industry, at a lively awards dinner on Apr. 10 here.

Mike Maas (l.), chief executive of AMI Entertainment Network Inc., and AMOA-NY president Ken Goldberg (r.) honor John Margold as 2018 Man of the Year.

In a departure from tradition, AMOA-NY for the first time paid tribute to a music genre with its annual awards and honored not one, but two, jukebox artists — since both icons are credited with punk rock’s birth.

“AMOA-NY is offering a tribute to punk rock and what this movement in musical culture has meant to jukeboxes,” said AMOA-NY president Ken Goldberg, who bestowed the honor on the entertainers before a packed crowd at Patrizia’s restaurant in midtown Manhattan. “The Ramones and The Dictators were generally recognized as forming punk rock’s vanguard. The Ramones condensed rock ‘n roll to its primal level. ‘1-2-3-4!’ bass-player Dee Dee Ramone shouted at the start of every song. The Dictators and Handsome Dick Manitoba were right on their heels.”

Julie Shelffo Margold, wife of AMOA-NY’s guest of honor, strikes a pose with Dick Manitoba, lead singer from pioneer punk rock band “The Dictators.”

Like the award winners before them, the jukebox has played a central role in this year’s music artists’ careers. Standing in front of the recently released 2018 AMI NGX Infinity Jukebox, both Manitoba and Ramone spoke with passion and personal conviction about being in the midst of leading a musical cult movement, an audience that continues today.  Both recording artists continue to perform throughout the world and they attested to what the jukebox has meant to them in terms of contributing to their careers.

C.J. Ramone, the last surviving member of the band, praised the jukebox’s technological evolution to digitally delivering a choice of a million song choices to a single bar. He also shared how jukeboxes inspired him to become a rock star from his earliest days as a musician.

AMOA-NY president Ken Goldberg (l.) and Touchtunes senior vice-president of sales Jamie Sura (r.) flank punk rock icon C.J. Ramone at awards gala.

“That jukebox when I was a kid is what sparked me to play music. I always dreamed of the day I’d walk in and look at a jukebox and my songs would be on it. So it’s a little bit more than entertainment,” the punk legend remarked. “There’s a couple of kids out there like I was that are looking at the jukebox going ‘Yeah, I’ll be on there some day.’ You guys are sparking dreams, too.”

Last year, the association bestowed the honor on five-time Grammy winner B.J. Thomas; in 2016 the recognition went to Tony Orlando.  Other Jukebox Artists of the Year include: The Stylistics, folk music icon Judy Collins, five-time Grammy award winner Dionne Warwick, and Peter Yarrow of the legendary Peter, Paul & Mary.

Separately, Goldberg and AMI Entertainment chief executive Mike Maas presented AMOA-NY’s Man of the Year Award to AMI’s Margold.

“John Margold has built a career of achievement in our industry,” Goldberg said upon presenting the award. “He has earned the respect among his peers. Many times over, John has demonstrated his advoca cy for the operator, his devotion to seeing the operator do well and prosper. I have seen it first hand, and I consider John one of my most valuable mentors as I look back upon the decades I have known him.” Maas praised Margold, a universally known jukebox figure who just reached his 43rd year as a career member of the amusement industry,  as “a valued team member for whom I have great respect and trust.”

Margold has been AMI’s senior vice-president of sales since 2002. A resident of Grand Rapids, MI, and a native of Salem, MA, he previously worked as vice-president of sales and marketing at TouchTunes and as senior vice-president of NSM America. His career began at Rowe International in 1975. He was named the company’s sales manager in 1978 and was recognized with its President’s Award in 1979 for outstanding jukebox sales.

Margold served as president of the American Amusement Manufacturers Association (AAMA), in 2011-2012. Margold was presented with AAMA’s Joe Robbins Award in 2011 as a corporate executive who volunteered countless hours in committee work and fundraising for AAMA’s charitable foundation. The AMI executive has also been a prominent figure in the Amusement and Music Owners Association (AMOA).

Margold joins a distinguished list of AMOA-NY honorees. Past industry award winners are Nina Byron, Richard Kirby, Robert Geschine and Kevin Fritz of H. Betti Industries Inc. (Carlstadt, NJ); David Cohen, Firestone Financial (Boston); Michael Maas, AMI Entertainment (Philadelphia); Eugene Jarvis, Raw Thrills (Skokie, IL); Charles “Chuck” Peitz, Tricorp Amusements (Somerset, NJ); Allen Weisberg, Apple Industries (Greenvale, NY); and Phil Cohn, TouchTunes Interactive Networks (New York City).

Goldberg hailed New York’s amusement operators for their continued commitment to coming together for the good of the industry. He explained the thinking behind AMOA-NY’s move of venues from the upscale steakhouse of years past to sharing a bountiful 12-course family-style Italian feast at the more intimate Patrizia’s restaurant.

“Tonight, we’re dining family-style at Patrizia’s because AMOA-NY wants to send a message. Many of us compete against one another, amidst the challenges and opportunities of good business and fair trade … but we are ‘family,’ and as you know families never fight,” Goldberg quipped. “This annual gala is our time to pause and reflect on how important it is for all of us to come together, to work on identifying any hazards which potentially could undermine and harm our sector, to try to bring about improvements so that all of us can prosper.”

Ken & Speaker Carl Heastie http://emersonamusement.com/ken-speaker-carl-heastie/ Wed, 16 Aug 2017 17:08:58 +0000 http://emersonamusement.com/?p=593

Our very own Ken Goldberg with Speaker Carl Heastie.

AMOA-NY 2017 http://emersonamusement.com/amoa-ny-2017/ Wed, 07 Jun 2017 16:05:47 +0000 http://emersonamusement.com/?p=580
AMOA New York Honors BJ Thomas http://emersonamusement.com/amoa-new-york-honors-bj-thomas/ Fri, 28 Apr 2017 19:40:44 +0000 http://emersonamusement.com/?p=508

BJ Thomas is Jukebox Artist of the Year. More pics and event coverage to come! Thanks Ken Goldberg for a another wonderful evening and to Nick Montano for the great photos.

AMOA-New York Honors Betson’s Nina Byron as Industry Person of the Year. Congrats Nina!

NEW YORK CITY — The Amusement and Music Owners Association of New York bestowed its 2017 Jukebox Artist of Year Award on American pop singer B.J. Thomas, whose notable singles include “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head” and “Hooked On A Feeling,” among many others. Simultaneously, the trade association presented its Person of the Year Award to Nina Byron, a finance executive of Betson Enterprises, the first woman to receive the honor. AMOA-NY’s awards were presented during a gala dinner on Monday, April 24, in midtown Manhattan at Ben & Jack’s Steakhouse. Jukebox operators, Betson officials and industry members from around the country packed the house.

Byron is financial services manager of Betson Enterprises, the equipment distribution division of H. Betti Industries Inc. She’s worked for the Betson organization for almost 18 years, “earning vast respect from her peers,” according to AMOA-NY president Ken Goldberg of Emerson Amusement (Woodside, NY). Byron entered the industry in 1977, as a teenager, working in collections for Mondial Distributing, a former competitor of Betson in the Northeast.

“When you look at the career of Nina Byron, you can’t help admire how she handles one of the toughest jobs at Beston and in the industry — financing and accounts receivable,” Goldberg said. “Nina has exhibited skill, patience and tolerance. She has nurtured business relationships and mentored many customers. She has accomplished this during her almost 40 years in the industry, and has earned an outstanding reputation in the business community and among industry members, who sometimes can be challenging, to say the least.”

Goldberg presented the award to Byron alongside her bosses and longtime Betson colleagues Kevin Fritz, vice-president of financial services, and Bob Geschine, president and chief financial officer of HBI, the man who hired her in 1999. Fritz and Geschine are past AMOA-New York honorees, too. “It’s a tribute to Nina that she has become the first woman that AMOA-NY has honored,” Goldberg said. “Unlike Hillary, Nina has indeed broken a glass ceiling.”

“Someone once told me that you are not remembered by what you do, but rather by how you make people feel,” Byron said. “This is so important. We need to remember that the heart of any business is its people. How we behave and how we treat each other is at the core of our success.”

In addition to honoring the achievements of an industry leader, AMOA-New York has created a jukebox awards program to acknowledge singers and songwriters who have a close connection to the jukebox. AMOA-NY is the only association that presently recognizes artists in the framework of the jukebox, which was once a prevalent part of the music industry. After declining in the mid-1980s through the late ’90s, the jukebox has made a steady comeback in the age of the Internet, touchscreen and mobile app. The industry is dominated by boxes and music networks built and administered by TouchTunes and AMI Entertainment, which partner with independent operating companies, including members of AMOA-NY. Previous AMOA-NY jukebox award winners are Tony Orlando (2016), The Stylistics (2015), Judy Collins (2014), Dionne Warwick (2013) and Peter Yarrow (2012) of Peter, Paul and Mary fame.

This year’s winner was raised in and around Houston, TX. As a teenager, Billy Joe “B.J.” Thomas sang in a church choir and joined the musical group the Triumphs. During his senior year in high school, he became friends with Roy Head of Roy Head and the Traits. The Traits and the Triumphs held several “battle of the bands” events in the early 1960s. The Triumphs, and Thomas as a solo artist, enjoyed some commercial success in the mid-’60s.

The AMOA-NY honoree’s career took off in 1968, first with “The Eyes of a New York Woman,” then five months later with “Hooked on a Feeling,” a big hit that featured the sound of Reggie Young’s electric sitar. “Hooked on a Feeling” became Thomas’s second million-selling record, according to sources. A year later, the 1969 film “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” featured Thomas’s performance of Burt Bacharach and Hal David’s “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head,” which won the Academy Award for best original song that year and hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in January 1970. Its sales exceeded one million copies, with Thomas being awarded his third gold record. In 2013, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences announced that the single would be inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

Today, Thomas maintains a busy tour schedule and continues to record music. Check out his upcoming performances here.

“It seems only like yesterday that I would constantly hear ‘Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head,'” Goldberg said. “That was 1970; I was a young man starting to work in my father’s jukebox business, and I was amazed at how many plays that song got. In terms of jukebox music, B.J. Thomas and ‘Raindrops’ became an economic jackpot.”

Goldberg pointed out that Thomas’s jukebox popularity was not limited to that memorable hit, which is still widely played on all outlets. “I Just Can’t Stop Believing,” “I’m So Lonely I Could Cry,” “Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song” and “No Love At All” are some of the singer’s other jukebox classics. “My favorite is ‘Hooked On A Feeling,'” the AMOA-NY president said.

Founded in the 1940s, AMOA-NY Inc. is a nonprofit group that represents the interests of businesses that own and install coin-operated amusement and music equipment in locations throughout New York State. The association has won numerous legislative victories in the past decade that have helped advance amusements. In New York State, it was instrumental in repealing a gambling law preventing amusement devices from awarding free credits, and in Nassau County it worked effectively to rescinded a COAD tax. In New York City it has racked up more than a half-dozen legal wins. These include raising the number of pool tables and amusement games allowed in a location without requiring billiards and arcade licenses. It also succeeded in replacing the term “coin-operated amusement device” with “player-operated amusement device” in the city’s administrative code.


Original Post

Frankie Valli and Randy Jones http://emersonamusement.com/emersons-own-ken-goldberg-with-frankie-valli/ Fri, 28 Oct 2016 20:22:28 +0000 http://emersonamusement.com/?p=279 Frankie Valli and Ken Goldberg

Owner of Emerson Amusement Company, Kenneth Goldberg, with the one and only Frankie Valli and Randy Jones from The Village People.

Club Lucky’s Tournament of Champions http://emersonamusement.com/club-luckys-tournament-of-champions/ Wed, 19 Oct 2016 17:32:00 +0000 http://emersonamusement.com/?p=268 a-big-congratulations-to-new-yorks-own-stuart-fox-for-taking-3rd-place-in-club-luckys-tournament-of-champions-8-gold-bracket-division

The 2016 AMOA New York Gala http://emersonamusement.com/amoa/ Tue, 21 Jun 2016 21:10:11 +0000 http://emersonamusement.com//?p=1

Thank you to everyone that attended the 2016 AMOA New York Gala this past weekend.

Pac-Man’s 35th Anniversary http://emersonamusement.com/pac-mans-35th-anniversary/ Thu, 13 Aug 2015 02:28:52 +0000 http://emersonamusement.com/?p=39 Pac-Man is one of the most enduring video game characters ever, and here’s why.

It’s hard to imagine a world without Pac-Man.

To date, the game has been released on every game system ever created. The new Sony Pictures  SNE 1.16%  movie Pixels features a 30-foot-tall 3D Pac-Man invading the streets of New York City. And according to the Guinness Book of World Records, the little yellow guy is the most recognized video game character in the world.

Professor Toru Iwatani, the creator of Pac-Man, discusses with Fortune how Pac-Man has endured 35 years, and what he sees for the future of Pac-Man and the game industry.

Where did the idea for the original Pac-Man come from?

In the late ‘70s, most arcade games featured gameplay a bit more on the violent side with killing aliens and such. The result was that most arcade gamers at the time were males. I thought that arcade centers should be more luxuriant and should attract female customers and couples. With that in mind we started concepting a game that centered around the word “eat,” and we sought to develop a game that would target female and couple customers, Then one day as I took a piece of pizza at lunch, the shape of the rest of the pizza looked like a character. An image popped up in my head, and the idea of Pac-Man was born. I designed Pac-Man and the Ghosts in a simple and cute way in order to be accepted by female customers.

When did you know that you had something special with Pac-Man?

Since Pac-Man was originally intended to appeal to female customers and couples, we designed the game to deliver an “easy to play” impression with players by using cute characters and simple controls (only four directional moves). But then we started noticing that not only female customers, or couples, were enjoying the game, but also business men and male players around the world started loving the game. I then felt that this game would be a worldwide hit.

What do you think it is about Pac-Man that has allowed the game to remain so popular for 35 years?

Pac-Man has been accepted and loved so long by both the old and the young, males and females, because of its cute characters and easy gameplay mechanics that only calls for the player to move in four directions. This, combined with simple game rules, makes the game easy for everyone to play.

There is also the fun situation when roles are reversed and the Ghosts are pursued by Pac-Man. At that time, by beating a lot of Ghosts, people will feel refreshed. This game feature really appealed to human psychology, in that it’s fun to not only be chased, but to also reverse roles and chase and beat opponents once in a while.

What similarities do you see from those early arcade days and today, with people playing games across mobile, console, and PC?

We developed Pac-Man thinking foremost about the players with the spirit of delivering great experiences. We always hold the concept of “fun first” in our hearts. The reason why Pac-Man has been a worldwide hit for so long is because we considered human feelings when developing the concept for this game, he appeals to simple human emotions. And I think the concepts of “easy to play” with “balanced game design” are both commonly important aspects of game development that appeal to players of all generations.

What are your thoughts on how today game developers of all sizes can create and sell their own games—something that wasn’t possible back at the dawn of arcade gaming?

Thanks to mobile devices and the online environment, we can now enjoy games everywhere with anyone and whenever we want, and each individual can develop games as well. Just like the case where a novelist is not always an employee of a publishing company, game creators and players who don’t work for game companies can also create games as their hobbies. Tons of different and eccentric ideas can pop up, all of which could be good for the games industry because those new ideas can broaden the potential for all games.

Pac-Man is also now featured in Sony Pictures’ Pixels movie. What was it like playing an arcade repairman in that film?

Although my part in the movie is small, it’s really a privilege for me—someone who works in the games industry—to take part in the movie as the role of a repairman of classic arcade game machines. I’m really happy with that and hope that the movie will be a box office hit!

What are you working on these days?

Currently, I work at Tokyo Polytechnic University in the game design department that’s part of their art school. I’m teaching game study, game planning, and I’m working on serious games which can contribute to the society. So many games are now played on small screens such as tablets and smartphones, so one of the purposes of this university course is to research and develop an innovative new game system.

One system we’re working on is a wearable Gaming Suit, in which the display, controller, and the player are combined. By creating this wearable Gaming Suit, we hope to expand research in innovative ways to play games and depict games as art in order to broaden video gaming’s potential.

Creator Toru Iwatani explains why people have loved Pac-Man for 35 years

Star Trek Pinball Now Available http://emersonamusement.com/star-trek-pinball-now-available/ Mon, 08 Jun 2015 02:33:03 +0000 http://emersonamusement.com/?p=44 Why not combine one of the most popular films and one of the most popular arcade games into one outstandingly fun experience?  That’s what Stern Pinball did.  They’ve just combined the Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness films, and the ever-loved game of pinball.  The newest Stern Pinball machine puts players in Captain James Kirk’s chair of the U.S.S. Enterprise, embarking on a journey to protect and defend the planets of the Federation.

Stern’s Star Trek pinball machine features everything a die-hard Star Trek fan would expect to see.  They didn’t skimp on any details and they made sure to incorporate everything you love from both the films and the original pinball machine.  With adrenalin-filled battles, high-definition artwork, cosmic LED lighting and classic musical scores, the Star Trek game will evoke the sensation of flying through space at Warp Speed to rescue Spock and defeat the U.S.S. Vengeance.  The Star Trek Pinball Game includes an animated battleship, three lightning fast ramps, three flippers, resettable memory drop targets and much more.

Star Trek is Stern’s first all-LED Pro Model. The playfield features seven multicolored LED paths that lead gamers on easy-to-understand color-coded routes. There are six missions for novice players matched by 18 complex treks for the professional gamer. As players attack an oncoming threat with three action-centered flippers, the all-LED playfield will captivate onlookers and enhance the player experience with features like phaser flashes and photon torpedoes.

Players will instinctively know exactly what to do when they approach Star Trek pinball – destroy the U.S.S. Vengeance, a key action-packed feature on the playing field. From the very start, players will have the chance to unlock special opportunities, collect tantalizing bonus features and win a series of accolades called The Captain’s Chair. Star Trek aficionados can expect the classic battle between the heroic Enterprise team and the villainous Khan as well as run-ins with Nero, Klingons and the Narada.  Stern really thought of it all when they created this new machine.  Be prepared to immerse yourself in the Star Trek galaxy for hours of entertainment.


Stern Pinball

NYC Skee Ball League @ Ace Bar http://emersonamusement.com/nyc-skee-ball-league-ace-bar/ Tue, 09 Oct 2012 02:34:52 +0000 http://emersonamusement.com/?p=47 NYC Skee Ball Tournament gets underway Thursday night, October 11. Stop by Ace Bar, check out the scene, size up the competition and meet the competitors!

Join in on the fun by registering in an upcoming league. Win cash prizes, sports/concert tickets and more!