Best Jukebox

Riley's Pub

The music biz has become as homogenized as the dairy industry. Nowhere is this fact more evident than at bars where satellite radio and Internet-wired "jukeboxes" promise patrons a virtually unlimited selection of songs but deliver little more than the Top 40 tripe served up from here to Tuscaloosa. Used to be that a jukebox reflected the musical leanings of a bar's regulars and its proprietor. You had roughly a few hundred selections, and if you didn't like it, you could either save your quarters for another beer or leave. Well, we're pleased to report it's still that way at Riley's in south city. Owner Bill Kapes resisted his jukebox vendor's offer to stuff the machine with "money makers." Instead Riley's jukebox contains classics from nearly all genres outside of today's pop hits. Included are artists as diverse as the Pogues, Anita Baker, Delbert McClinton and Merle Haggard—who, by the way, knew happiness was little more than "swinging doors, a jukebox and a barstool."
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