8.0/10
12
2 user

Soundies: A Musical History Hosted by Michael Feinstein (2007)

Before MTV and the age of television, there were Soundies. First appearing in 1941, these three minute black-and-white films featured artists of the Big Band, Jazz and Swing era, like Duke ... See full summary »

Director:

Reviews

Photos

Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?

Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
... Host
Edit

Storyline

Before MTV and the age of television, there were Soundies. First appearing in 1941, these three minute black-and-white films featured artists of the Big Band, Jazz and Swing era, like Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Louis Jordan, Louis Armstrong, Gene Krupa, The Mills Brothers, Les Paul, Cab Calloway, and Fats Waller. The Soundies helped launch the careers of Doris Day, Nat King Cole, Liberace, and Dorothy Dandridge, among others. Viewed for a dime through a special machine called a Panoram, a movie jukebox, these forerunners to the music video could be seen in nightclubs, roadhouses, restaurants and other public venues across the U.S. These classic films remain as glorious time capsules of music, social history, popular culture, and tell the story of a crossroads in our country, when the uncertainties of war, race relations, and emerging technologies combined to write one of the most influential chapters in our nation¹s history. Written by Chris Lamson

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary

Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

3 March 2007 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$150,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Color:

See  »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Soundies: A Musical History is highly recommend for film and music fans
26 March 2007 | by See all my reviews

Singer Michael Feinstein hosts this special about Soundies, three-minute film shorts of the popular songs during the '40s that were played in video jukeboxes called the Panorams. We start with what is called the best of the best: Duke Ellington's "Hot Chocolate" which has various gymnastic-style dances of the Jitterbug. Formed by the Mills Publishing Company in 1940, these music videos of the day takes us through the various big band sounds of Jimmy Dorsey, Fats Waller, Louis Armstrong, Gene Krupa, and The King Cole Trio featuring Nat King Cole. Since World War II began soon after, many of the films also showcase the patriotic nature of many of the tunes like "You're a Lucky Fellow, Mr. Smith". We also see the earliest film debuts of Doris Day, Yvonne De Carlo, Walter Liberace (best known by only his last name), Mel Blanc (hilarious as a drunk in a Spike Jones Soundie), Dorothy Dandridge (sexy in a jungle outfit), and Cyd Charisse. Wonderful recollections by Kay Starr and Les Paul along with commentary by Wynton Marsalis, Leonard Maltin, Hugh Hefner, and Joe Franklin add to the nostalgic flavor of the whole enterprise. Negative stereotyping involving African-American musicians of the day are also addressed here. Worth seeking out on DVD or PBS for anyone with an interest in musical film history.


5 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 2 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Popular Horror and Thriller Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular horror and thriller movies available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed