Top 10 Hits Tour presented by Bell: Wurlitzer SideMan

Explore the Top 10 Hits of NMC’s collection online with musically trained tour guides presented by Bell.

The first drum machine to be made available on the commercial market, the SideMan was initially devised to provide percussive accompaniment for an organist or pianist. The name even refers to the old term for studio musicians, brought in to deliver a particular musical specialty during a recording session. An analog, tube-based, electro-mechanical drum machine—the instrument produced its sound entirely via electronic means rather than pre-recorded samples. Capable of producing twelve distinct rhythmic patterns, each preset corresponds to a popular dance step of the era, from the waltz to the fox trot.

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