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Slideshow

  • Nat "King" Cole in the Soundie Got a Penny, Benny (1946). Mark Cantor Archive
  • Fats Waller in the Soundie Ain't Misbehavin' (1941). Mark Cantor Archive
  • Nat "King" Cole appears on a Panoram screen in Frim Fram Sauce (1945). Library of Congress, Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division
  • Give Me Some Skin (1946), starring the Delta Rhythm Boys. Mark Cantor Archive
  • Dorothy Dandridge in A Zoot Suit (1942). Library of Congress, Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division
  • The Mills Brothers and Dorothy Dandridge in Paper Doll (1942). Mark Cantor Archive

SOUNDIES: AMERICA FOR A DIME
Presented by Susan Delson

Thursday, February 10 at 6:50

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Susan Delson, author of the new book Soundies and the Changing Image of Black Americans on Screen: One Dime at a Time (Indiana University Press), presents this unique program of “Soundies," the 3-minute music films played on “movie jukeboxes” in 1940s bars, restaurants, and bus stations, especially popular during WWII. Offering a wide range of musical and performance styles — from polka and country music to Big Bands and early R&B — Soundies reflect American tastes and morés unseen in Hollywood movies of the time. This program, including many shorts recently restored by the Library of Congress, focuses on the Black-cast Soundies filmed at the old Edison studios in the Bronx, with such artists as Duke Ellington, Nat "King" Cole, Dorothy Dandridge, Fats Waller, and Sister Rosetta Tharpe, along with Soundies starring Doris Day, Liberace, and many others. Special thanks to Mike Mashon of the Library of Congress and Bret Wood of Kino Lorber.

Film Forum