The Soundies: A History and Catalog of Jukebox Film Shorts of the 1940s (Paperback)

The Soundies: A History and Catalog of Jukebox Film Shorts of the 1940s By Mark Cantor Cover Image
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The 1940s saw a brief audacious experiment in mass entertainment: a jukebox with a screen. Patrons could insert a dime, then listen to and watch such popular entertainers as Nat "King" Cole, Gene Krupa, Cab Calloway or Les Paul. A number of companies offered these tuneful delights, but the most successful was the Mills Novelty Company and its three-minute musical shorts called Soundies.

This book is a complete filmography of 1,880 Soundies: the musicians heard and seen on screen, recording and filming dates, arrangers, soloists, dancers, entertainment trade reviews and more. Additional filmographies cover more than 80 subjects produced by other companies. There are 125 photos taken on film sets, along with advertising images and production documents. More than 75 interviews narrate the firsthand experiences and recollections of Soundies directors and participants. Forty years before MTV, the Soundies were there for those who loved the popular music of the 1940s. This was truly "music for the eyes."

About the Author

Mark Cantor is a Los Angeles-based musicologist, historian and archivist of jazz and popular music on film. He is the curator of the Celluloid Improvisations Music Film Archive, perhaps the largest privately held collection of musical performance on 16mm film worldwide. For more information, please visit the author's website at

Product Details
ISBN: 9781476683133
ISBN-10: 1476683131
Publisher: McFarland & Company
Publication Date: May 1st, 2023
Pages: 893
Language: English