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.”