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BigBands Database Plus Homepage   or     Jazz Age Songs    01 02 03 04 05 06

These videos and movie clips are individually shown on various pages of the Big Bands Database Plus website. They are gathered together here for the convenience of our visitors. The videos include both Film clips, and as well as "Panoram Soundies"

We list some of the SOUNDIES first, and various film clips on the following pages.

"The Swinging Soundies"
In 1940, Jimmy Roosevelt, son of then President Franklyn Delano Roosevelt, formed a new business. Jimmy, having made a fortune in insurance, started bankrolling the production of "Soundies". His firm began producing Panoram Jukeboxes. The November 19, 1940 issue of Look magazine described that venture.
     "By 1941, he and his partners "expect to have 30,000 of these miniature
     movies in taverns, hotels and restaurants -- each averaging $50 in dimes
     and paying $10 film rental a week."
Look Magazine also noted, ".....(these shorts) may serve as a screen test for much undiscovered talent. Regular [studio] screen tests are hard to get because they cost around $1,000." In the article were some stills from several of the first soundies, including "Sweet Sue," one of six tunes performed by "Lorraine Page's all-girl band." ( see clip below )

Important Note Regarding Panoram Soundies:
Sharp eyes watching these early Soundies will note that the many of the orchestra members all seem to be left handed, and playing left handed instruments. Actually, most all the players are right handed. Original Soundie films were printed backwards so that they would appear correctly when viewed in the 'Panoram' video machine. So, when viewed today, the film seems to have been 'flipped'.

Here are some one of the original "Panoram Soundies" and Film clips.

First, some "All-Girl" bands:
  VIDEO: "Sweet Sue"   Lorraine Page and her All-Girl the vocal group called: "Six Hits and a Miss". (along with 'six chorines' dancing, -otherwise not identified). "The Six Hits and A Miss" were popular rivals to other Swing era vocal acts such as The Andrews Sisters. ( Vince Deegan, was their arranger in the mid 1930's, and he also did vocal arranging for "Mel Tormé and The Mel-Tones". ) However, World War II intervened and two of the 'Six Hits' joined the U. S. Army. The public never accepted 'The Four Hits and a Miss' with the same fervor, and performing (at the top of their career) in the Judy Garland - Mickey Rooney musical, "Girl Crazy", turned out to be their swan song. Lorraine Page and her All-Girl Orchestra also seem to have faded away with the end of World War II. (Panoram Soundie) (film clip: britishagenda )

Here's another "All-Girl" band, - not well remembered today.
  VIDEO: "Choo Choo Choo Mama"  Thelma White All Girl Orchestra in 1943. (A "Panaram Soundie" - "Hollywood Boogie" (1946)) This is a rendition of "Hamp's Boogie Woogie" originally done by Lionel Hampton and His Orchestra.

  VIDEO: "I Look At You "    lovely Rita Rio and her "All-Girl" Orchestra, with future film star Alan Ladd doing the singing. (film clip: From: britishagenda ) Late 1930s.

  VIDEO: "Panamericonga "   Here's Rita Rio MINUS 'Her Mistresses of Melody Orch.'. ( The film studio dug up some male musicians from the union hall. ) (film clip: PappyStuckey )

  "I'm Coming, Virginia"   A 1942 "Soundie" with Aileen Shirley and the Minoco Melody Maids. Sharp eyed visitors will no doubt notice that the lovely 'maids' are just holding the instruments - not playing. The 'real' band is offstage somewhere. The ladies are all gorgeous, with nice legs, and isn't it nice to see that the dancers are almost in sync. However, this little clip is useful as a bit of history. It shows what we were watching on the Panoram Soundie machine during 1942.

  VIDEO: "Medley From Film Short "    Ina Ray Hutton and Her Melodears. Part 1. (film clip: nedsparks ) A film short - not a Panoram Soundie (1936)

  VIDEO: " "   . Ina Ray Hutton and Her Melodears. Part 1. (film clip: ) A film short - not a Panoram Soundie (1936).. (film clip: nedsparks )

  Song "Cuban Pete"  This is a "Panoram Soundie" of the floor Show at New York's Havana Madrid Nightclub, featuring Maya's Pan-American Orchestra, with dancers Carlos and Zedra. (Circa 1940). This is a great view of just what sort of show Nightclub patrons would see all during the Nightclub era of the 1920s -1950s.

  "Smiles"  Larry Clinton Orchestra, a World War 1 song played here in this 1942 "Panoram Soundie".

  "Jammin' At The Panoram"   Stan Kenton Orchestra, with Helen Huntley vocal. A 1942 "Soundie". During the Big Bands era, band vocalists were often called "stand-up" singers. Sitting in a chair off to one side of the band, they would 'stand up' and come forward for their chorus, and then go back to their chair. This is clearly seen in this Soundie when Helen Huntley goes back to her seat. This 3 minute black & white, 16mm film was produced by RCM Productions/Soundies Distributing Corp. of America, Inc., 1942. Director: Reginald Le Broc; Producer: Sam Coslow.

  "Southern Scandal"   Stan Kenton Orchestra, a 1946 Panoram "Soundie". A very interesting Soundie because it does somewhat show the progression from what was the 'standard' big band sound of the early 1940s, to what Kenton, and the public, began to call "Progressive Jazz" - a screaming Brass section.

  "The Old Lamplighter"   Skinnay Ennis and his Orchestra., a 1950 Panoram Soundie with Skinnay leading his band, and doing a little acting while also singing.

  "Turkey in the Straw"   an August 23, 1942 Panoram Soundie featuring Freddie Fisher with The Schnickelfritzers.

  VIDEO: "Mabel Lee dancing"   A "Panoram Soundie" (film clip: chas63). Regretfully, the film-maker was more interested in exhibiting the many charms of Miss Mabel Lee dancing ( that's what they call it ), rather than showing off Noble Sissle's great band.

  VIDEO: "It's Got To Be This Or That"   Now let's watch a 'Panoram Soundie' of the Emil Coleman Orchestra with lovely June Barton singing.

  VIDEO: "In a Shanty in Old Shanty Town"   Now let's watch the Johnny Long Orchestra with one of their biggest hit recordings, as filmed in this "Panoram Soundie".

  VIDEO: "Reg Kehoe and His Marimba Queens"   The bass player steals the whole show.

  VIDEO: "Lullaby of Old Broadway "    "Mel Tormé the Mel-Tones" in the early 1940s.

  VIDEO: "I Don't Want to Walk Without You"    Merle Pitt and His Five Shades of Blue, with Kay Lorraine vocal, and Frank Wilcox as the porter

  VIDEO: " Beyond The Blue Horizon"    played by "The Three Suns"

  VIDEO: "I Can't Give You Anything But Love"    Ray Bloch Orchestra with Carolyn Marsh vocalizing.

  VIDEO: "The Lamp Of Memory "    actress Yvonne De Carlo singing and dancing to a Latin tune.

  VIDEO: "One Look At You"   the Del Casino Orchestra with Del singing, -- in the early 1940s

  VIDEO: "Once In A While "    A lovely old tune,- rarely heard these days. Sorry, I do not recognize either the bandleader or the singer. If anyone knows, please share it with the rest of us.

  VIDEO: "Row Row Row "    Originally introduced in the 1912 Ziegfeld Follies. Again, I do not recognize either the singer or band.

  VIDEO: "I Surrender "    Again, I do not recognize any of the actors, but please remember what was mentioned above. The "Soundies" were often serving as a screen test for much undiscovered talent. Regular [studio] screen tests were hard to get because they cost around $1,000.(In the days when the average pay check was US$ 16.00 per 60 hour work week).

Visitors to our site may wish to compare two versions of "Who's Yehouti?"
  VIDEO: "Who's Yehouti "    with "Liltin'" Martha Tilton singing with the "Six Hits and A Miss".

  VIDEO: "Who's Yehudi "    Lane Truesdale singing and wiggling her way through this other version of "Who's Yehoudi?", - back in 1942

  VIDEO: "Stardust "   The wonderful Hoagy Carmichael tune, - danced by the June Taylor dancers and Harry Cool.doing the warbling.

BigBands Database Plus Homepage   or     Jazz Age Songs    01 02 03 04 05 06
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