Soundies: Black Music from the 1940s
August 11, 2019 12:13 AM   Subscribe

Soundies: Black Music from the 1940s*

* With one exception

A potpourri of je ne sais quoi

Take the 'A' Train - Delta Rhythm Boys

Your Feet's Too Big - Fats Waller

Take Me Back, Baby - Jimmy Rushing with The Count Basie Orchestra

The Preacher and the Bear - The Jubalaires

Ring Those Bells -- possibly The Cabin Kids

Patience and Fortitude - Valaida Snow with the Ali Baba Trio

Rocco Blues - Maurice Rocco

Oh, By Jingo - Gloria Grey (1952)

I Want A Man - Annisteen Allen with Lucky Millinder and his Orchestra

Rockin' Chair - The Mills Brothers

Swanee Swing (Swanee River) - LaVilla Tulos
posted by y2karl (13 comments total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
What a glorious way to start my Sunday morning! Thanks so much y2karl, come on over, we're having pancakes for breakfast!
posted by ouke at 12:31 AM on August 11, 2019 [1 favorite]

I’m glad you are still around y2karl
posted by wheelieman at 1:49 AM on August 11, 2019 [4 favorites]

I love everything about these. What's the backstory for them? Who made them? Who were they prepared for? Where were they presented?

Also, I want the clothes.
posted by Joe in Australia at 3:52 AM on August 11, 2019

Fats Waller was my grandmother’s lifelong favorite. Thanks for sharing.
posted by sallybrown at 6:20 AM on August 11, 2019

There's a pretty good Wikipedia article that gives the basic history of Soundies, which were viewed on a coin-operated film-jukebox apparatus. I've seen one of the cabinets refurbished, but haven't yet seen one in operation--that would be amazing.
posted by theatro at 6:47 AM on August 11, 2019

Well there goes my day. At least at the end I will have another badass Spotify playlist. Thanks!
posted by 8-bit floozy at 9:40 AM on August 11, 2019

As a kid in the 50's we were early adopters of TV. They must've been needy for programming because Soundies were a frequent feature. I learned about the wonders of Black music which led me to listen to what was called the "Race Music" radio stations. They played the blues of the day which used a patois which was very sexual. So I was familiar with the original meaning of the cleaned up songs later used by the white appropriators (Elvis, Bill Haley, ect...) which I scorned.
posted by shnarg at 10:44 AM on August 11, 2019 [5 favorites]

Oh, I had plenty of supportive links to pad things out but was typing with one finger in bed, hence the one link post. Such are the vagaries of posting by phone. But interestingly, one thing I found out was that Dorothy Dandridge started out as a Cabin Kid.
posted by y2karl at 11:21 AM on August 11, 2019 [1 favorite]

Also, I could have made the post about the
The Riverbends Channel as well, which is, among other things, a treasure trove of African-Americana, whether Race Movies or Race Soundies. But I never could get the parent website to load on my phone. By all means check it out.
posted by y2karl at 12:16 PM on August 11, 2019

As for Soundies, there is Jukebox Heroes which I should have included as a Previously.
posted by y2karl at 12:30 PM on August 11, 2019

One thing you notice in all old African American jazz shorts, is that while the male figures have a wide range of skin tones, the women are all light-skinned - unless they're Bessie Smith.

(All hail y2karl, a venerable Metafilter presence.)
posted by Modest House at 1:55 PM on August 11, 2019 [1 favorite]

Oh man I get so excited when y2karl chucks up a music post. It's been too long !
posted by adamvasco at 3:12 PM on August 11, 2019

I’m glad you are still around y2karl

Me, too.
posted by y2karl at 11:11 AM on August 12, 2019 [4 favorites]

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