13 Facts About Soundies


Soundies are three-minute American musical films, and each short displays a performance.

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Soundies exhibited a variety of musical genres in an effort to draw a broad audience.

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The completed Soundies were generally made available within a few weeks of their filming, by the Soundies Distributing Corporation of America.

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Soundies emphasized variety from their beginning; the first three bandleaders who contracted for Soundies were boogie-woogie specialist Will Bradley, established popular music maestro Vincent Lopez, and Hawaiian singer-leader Ray Kinney.

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Soundies displayed all genres of music, from classical to big-band swing, and from hillbilly novelties to patriotic songs.

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Many nightclub and recording artists made Soundies, including Harry "The Hipster" Gibson, Benny Fields, Frances Faye, Gloria Parker, Charles Magnante, Milton DeLugg, and Gus Van.

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Soundies abandoned the comedy-sketch idea, but continued to produce filmed versions of comic novelty songs.

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The Soundies films were regularly described and reviewed in the entertainment and music trade publications, such as Billboard.

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Soundies became strictly a production company, dedicated to making its own musical shorts.

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Today's filmmakers and archivists, Soundies are known for preserving rare performances of African-American artists who had fewer opportunities to perform in mainstream films.

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The library of 1,800 Soundies films was sold to home-movie companies Castle Films and Official Films, then to syndicated television, and ultimately to home video.

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Soundies concept was revived in 1951 by producer Louis D Snader.

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Similar to Soundies, Scopitones are short musical films designed to be played on a specially designed coin-operated jukebox, but with new technical improvements - color and high-fidelity sound.

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