Thursday, March 01, 2007

Soundies, a new PBS special

I didn't get a chance to post a notice about the Billy Strayhorn special before it aired, so I hope all those interested in Ellingtonia got a chance to see it. It was nice to see anything about jazz on television. My complaint, (and it's one I always seem to have to state ) is that Strayhorn is always built up at the expense of Ellington. Somehow, it doesn't matter that Ellington was able to build and lead a group into international prominence and that this organization existed a dozen years before Strayhorn joined.

But here's an advance notice of another PBS special that will be of interest to us: a fun documentary called Soundies: A Musical History. Before MTV and YouTube, there were Soundies. They were short (3-5 minute) music videos that were viewed on video-jukeboxes called "Panoram" (see picture of Nat "King" Cole).

It's airing here in Los Angeles in the evening on Saturday, March 3rd. As they say, check your local listings or go to

And, just like today, they featured dancers to add to the experience.

1 comment:

Miki Howard said...

This is a great special. I became interested in these oldies when listening the the standards back in the day. You know I made a Billie Holiday recored, but most recently I recorded five standards on my new CD, Miki Howard Private Collection. You should check it out at my official website, It includes renditions of Skylark, Days of Wine and Roses, Guess Who I saw today and Count Your Blessings instead of Sheep. Let me know what you think!