Next Week: Soundies in LA

"Soundies: The Ultimate Collection" at the UCLA Film Archive October 2023

“Soundies: The Ultimate Collection” is coming to Los Angeles.

On Friday, October 6, the UCLA Film Archive is presenting four sizzling programs from the video set.

Kicking things off: “Starting from Swing,” an 8-film lineup featuring powerhouses like Duke Ellington and His Orchestra, Count Basie and His Orchestra, and the International Sweethearts of Rhythm, one of the hottest all-woman big bands of the 1940s.

The second program, “Powered by Dance,” opens with the classic Ellington Soundie “Hot Chocolate (‘Cottontail’),” showcasing the era’s preeminent jitterbug troupe, Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers. There’s virtuoso tap dance and rhumba too.

Rounding out the program, “Jumping into Gender Play” and “Heading Toward Rock ‘n’ Roll” feature iconic performers like Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Louis Jordan, and Les Paul, along with rediscoveries like Maurice Rocco, June Richmond, and the incomparable Day, Dawn, and Dusk.

There’ll be a post-screening Q&A with project contributor Mark Cantor, author of The Soundies: A History and Catalog of Jukebox Film Shorts of the 1940s.

It’s happening next Friday, October 6, at 7:30 p.m. in the Billy Rose Theater at UCLA.  Admission is free, no advance reservations. Box office opens one hour before the event. More information here.