Never have so many Soundies been celebrated in one package or presented with such care: thematically organized, accompanied by on-screen introductions and a booklet of essays, photos, and credits.

There are fabulous lindy-hoppers, emerging country-western stars, early rock ’n’ roll icons and more. Plus a bonus program celebrating chorus lines of every description.

Each DVD in the 4-disc set explores a different theme—“Introducing Soundies,” “Life in the Soundies Era,” “Musical Evolutions,” and “Women, Sexuality, and Gender.” 

Curated by Susan Delson, author of Soundies and the Changing Image of Black Americans on Screen: One Dime at a Time, this collection presents a broad sampling of classics, rediscoveries, and unknown gems, newly restored from 35mm and 16mm materials preserved by the Library of Congress and other archives.

Special Features

  • Illustrated 44-page booklet with essays by Susan Delson, film historian Ellen C. Scott, and jazz-on-film archivist and historian Mark Cantor 
  • Filmed introductions by series curator Susan Delson, with Ina Diane Archer, artist and Media Conservationist, National Museum of African American History and Culture 
  • “Inside the Panoram,” a filmed interview with Mark Cantor, author of The Soundies: A History and Catalog of Jukebox Film Shorts of the 1940s 
  • “From the Vaults,” a filmed interview with Matt Barton (Curator of Recorded Sound at the National Audio-Visual Conservation Center at the Library of Congress) and Mike Mashon (Head of the Moving Image Section of the Library of Congress)


Dorothy Dandridge, Zoot Suit
Dorothy Dandridge, Zoot Suit


Keep an eye on your local art-house and repertory cinemaSoundies: The Ultimate Collection is in theatrical release too. And as we all know, Soundies are great with a crowd.

Release date: July 25, 2023


Available from Kino Lorber

— 1940–1946
— B&W approx. 600 min.
— English with optional English SDH subtitles

The Programs

Disc 1. Introducing Soundies


1.  Starting from Swing

Jam Session – Duke Ellington and His Orchestra

Dipsy Doodle – Larry Clinton and His Orchestra

Air Mail Special – Count Basie and His Orchestra

Swing for Sale – The Charioteers

Jammin’ in the Panoram – Stan Kenton and His Orchestra

Let Me Off Uptown – Gene Krupa and His Orchestra

Take It and Git – Thelma White and Her All-Girl Orchestra

She’s Crazy with the Heat – The International Sweethearts of Rhythm featuring Anna Mae Winburn


The International Sweethearts of Rhythm featuring Anna Mae Winburn in She’s Crazy with the Heat


2.  Powered by Dance 

Hot Chocolate (“Cottontail”) – Duke Ellington and His Orchestra with Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers

The Chool Song – The King’s Men with Collins and Collette

Maharaja Hal and Betty Takier

Breakfast in Rhythm – The Three Chefs

Mi Rumba – Nano Rodrigo and His Orchestra featuring the Lola and Andre Dancers

Goin’ to the Barn Dance Tonight – Carson Robison & His Buckaroos

May I Have the Next Trance with You – Grace Poggi and Igor

Arthur Murray Taught Me Dancing in a Hurry – The Three Murtah Sisters 



3.  At the Piano 

Tiger Rag – Walter Liberace

Got a Penny Benny – The King Cole Trio

Ain’t Misbehavin’ – Fats Waller

Adventure in Boogie Woogie – Robert Crum

Jealous – Mary Brian with Charles Baron featuring Stan Kenton and Hal Bourne

Harry the Hipster – Harry Gibson

Dispossessed Blues – Lynn Albritton and the Four Knobs

Grand Pianos and Gals – Dorothy Janice and the Mills Piano Quartette


4.  We’ll Drink to That 

Abercrombie Had a Zombie – Liz Tilton and Lee Murray

Clink! Clink! Another Drink – Spike Jones and His City Slickers [featuring Mel Blanc]

Moonlight Cocktail #1 – The Murphy Sisters and Patricia Hall

Moonlight Cocktail #2 – Buddy Clark with Dolly Mitchell

Bottoms Up – The Globe Trotters

Cocktails for Two  – Bob Hughes and The Mellowaires

Penthouse Party – Gloria Parker

Beer Barrel Polka – The Eton Boys



5.   Outrageously Incorrect—and Sometimes Subversive 

Ching Chong – Maxine Conrad and Muzzy Marcellino

Hong Kong Blues – Hoagy Carmichael with Mee Chee

Lazybones – Hoagy Carmichael with Dorothy Dandridge and Peter Ray

Ballet Dancer’s Nightmare – The Slate Brothers with Vivien Fay

Ruff and Tuff – Mary Parker and Lou Leonard

Operatin’ Rhythm – The Three Heat Waves

Sleep Kentucky Babe – Day, Dawn, and Dusk

Rigoletto – Day, Dawn, and Dusk


6.   Straight from the Panoram #4: Soundies Parade of Hits No. 1189, November 20, 1944

Canine Capers – Max and His Gang

The Line Is Busy – Unknown

Tea on the Terrace – Marvel Maxwell

Side by Side – Nick Lucas

Paris Is Gay Again – John Marshall and James Alexander

Dance Impressions – Bobby Davis

Ja Da – The Dixieland Jazz Band

Ain’t She Pretty – The Three Peppers






Disc 2. Life in the Soundies Era


1. Going to War

We’ll Slap the Japs (Right into the Laps of the Nazis) – The Four Sportsmen

Paddy Callahan Has Joined the Army – John Feeney with Charles Devlin

GI Jive – Louis Jordan and His Tympany Five 

K. P. Serenade – The Hoosier Hot Shots

Gee! The Jeep Jumps – The Kim Loo Sisters and Bobby Davis

Johnny Zero – The Song Spinners

Goodbye Mama (I’m Off to Yokohama) – Johnnie Johnston and Marvel Maxwell

Hey! Tojo, Count Yo’ Men – Bob Howard


2.  The Home Front

I Shut My Mouth for Uncle Sam – Frances Faye

Keep Smiling – The Four Ginger Snaps

When Hitler Kicks the Bucket – Toni Lane

Plant a Little Garden in Your Own Back Yard – The Song Spinners

Ration Blues – Louis Jordan and His Tympany Five

Take It Off – The Pretty Priorities

Defend America – The Patriotairs

When Johnny Comes Marching Home – The Four Ginger Snaps


Gee The Jeep Jumps Screenshot
Gee The Jeep Jumps



3. On the Job

Rosie the Riveter  – The Smoothies and Cappy Barra’s Harmonica Boys

Don’t Be an Absentee – Patti Ryan

On Time – Carolyn Ayres

Stop That Dancing Up There – Kay Starr and Jimmie Dodd

The Blacksmith Song – Spike Jones and His City Slickers

Frim Fram Sauce – The King Cole Trio 

Struttin’ to Sutton Place – Mary Jane Walsh

A Little Jive Is Good for You – Martha Tilton with The Slate Brothers


4.  City Life

Take the ‘A’ Train – The Delta Rhythm Boys

Take Me Out to the Ball Game – The Kim Loo Sisters

Tenement Symphony – Bob Carroll

The Joint Is Jumpin’ – Fats Waller

The Kerry Dance – Kay Lorraine

Give Me Some Skin – The Delta Rhythm Boys

Navy Yard – Toni Lane

Good-Nite All – Johnny Taylor [and Drucilla Drew]


Nat King Cole, Frim Fram Sauce screenshot
Nat King Cole, Frim Fram Sauce



5.  …And City Fashion

Gorgeous – Michael Loring

Down, Down Down – Louis Jordan and His Tympany Five

Beautiful Clothes (Make Beautiful Girls) – Harry Langdon

Jack, You’re Playing the Game – The Delta Rhythm Boys

A Zoot Suit – Dorothy Dandridge and Paul White

Glamour Girl – Gale Storm

After Awhile – Danny O’Neill

Emily Brown – Bob Parrish and Chinky Grimes


6.   Straight from the Panoram #2: Soundies Miniature Revue No. 1061, March 30, 1942

Deep in the Heart of Texas – Van Alexander and His Orchestra with Lew Hearn and Phyllis Kenny

As Mabel Goes So Goes the Navy – Mary Jane Walsh

Where Has My Little Dog Gone – Claude Thornhill and His Orchestra with Martha Wayne and Buddy Stewart

Two Pair of Shoes – Jean Porter and Larry Stewart

The Skunk Song – Cab Calloway and His Orchestra

Frankie and Johnny – Moore and Revel with the Dixieland Jazz Band

Farewell Blues – Tommy Reynolds and His Orchestra with Sunny O’Dea

Drink to Me Only with Thine Eyes – Ginger Harmon and Harry Barris



Disc 3. Musical Evolutions


1.  Stirring Up the Melting Pot

I’m an Old Cowhand – Gus Van

Ta Ha Wa Hu Wai (Hawaiian War Chant) – Lani McIntyre and His Orchestra

Pete the Piper –Susan Miller and Danny Hoctor

Kazbek – Yasha Davidoff with Simeon Karavaeff, Lalla Zalipskaya, Nadia Veralle, Russian Balalaika Orchestra

Willie Willie – Sam Manning and Bell Rosette [Beryl McBurnie]

There’s Nothing Like the Smile of the Irish – Lanny Ross

Swinging in a Harem – Marian Lawrence and Her Dancers

 Dance, Baby, Dance – The Mel-Tones


2.  The Home Front

I Wanna Go Back to West Virginia – Slim Andrews and The Fashionaires with Sybil Rae

There’s a Hole in the Old Oaken Bucket – Florence Gill, Redd Harper and The Sells

Pass the Biscuits, Mirandy – Spike Jones and His City Slickers

Back in the Saddle Again – Dick Thomas

Montana Plains – Emerson’s Mountaineers 

Along the Navajo Trail – John “Shadrach” Horace and Johnny Moore’s 3 Blazers

Why Did I Fall for Abner – Merle Travis and Carolina Cotton [with The Glee Gates Trio and other musicians]

Horse Hairs – Ginger Dulo



3. Latin to Staten Island

Rhumba New York – Caridad Garcia with Gerald Marks and His Orchestra

Dark Velvet Night – Sergio De Karlo with Patricia Hall

Pumpa Pumpa – The De Castro Sisters

Paran-Pan-Pan – Maya’s Pan-American Orchestra with Carlos and Zedra

Chi-Chi Castenango – Marilyn Hare and The Paragons

Havin’ a Time in Havana – Marvel Maxwell

Cielito Lindo – The Four King Sisters with Alvino Rey and His Orchestra

He’s a Latin from Staten Island – Ricardo Montalban


4. Heading Toward Rock ’n Roll

Wham – The Four Ginger Snaps

Rock It for Me – Maurice Rocco

Opus 12EEE – Harry Gibson

Shoo Shoo Baby – The Les Paul Trio and Carolyn Grey

Four or Five Times – Lucky Millinder and His Orchestra with Sister Rosetta Tharpe

The Lonesome Road – Lucky Millinder and His Orchestra with Sister Rosetta Tharpe 

Jumpin’ at the Jubilee – Louis Jordan and His Tympany Five

47th Street Jive – June Richmond with Roy Milton and His Band

John Shadrach Horace and Johnny Moores 3 Blazers Along the Navajo Trail



5. Latin Boogies & Other Hybrids

Rhumboogie – Maurice Rocco

Hula Rhumba – Gloria King and Bernie Kaai with Kuaana’s Dream Islanders

Jive, Little Gypsy, Jive – Bobby Sherwood’s Orchestra, The Three Cheers, Diana Castillo

Jitterbug Señorita – Vincent Lopez and His Orchestra with Anne Barnett

Rhumba Swing – Leona Fredericks and Irving Fields Trio

Yodel – Rosalie Allen

Cowboy Calypso – The Cactus Cowboys with Bobby Gregory

Cow Cow Boogie – Dorothy Dandridge


6. Straight from the Panoram #3: Soundies Parade of Hits No. 1137, October 11, 1943

Au Reet – Jimmy Dorsey and His Orchestra with Helen O’Connell

They’re Going to Build a Monument – The Delegates – Elmer, Sonny, and Glen

Boxcar Rhapsody – Borrah Minevitch and His Harmonica Rascals

Strolling Through the Park – Kaye Popp, Stanley Catron, Jack Baker, Betty Heather, Benny de Sio, Margie Jackson

International Revue – Jack Hylton and His Band

My Reverie – Larry Clinton and His Orchestra

There’s a Pampas Moon on the Campus – Diana Del Rio

Do I Worry? – Patterson and Jackson



Disc 4. Women, Sexuality, and Gender


1. Is It Love or Is It Conscription? Heterosexuality and World War II

Goodbye Dear, I’ll Be Back in a Year – The Landy Trio

Is It Love or Is It Conscription? – Les Brown and His Orchestra featuring Doris Day

Love’s Gonna Be Rationed – The Song Spinners

Pinups on Parade– Lee Sullivan and The Dream Dolls

Paper Doll – The Mills Brothers [and Dorothy Dandridge]

But What Are These? – Gracie Barrie

Lackadaisical Lady – Jimmie Dodd

I’d Love to Know You Better – Gayle Mellott and Ralph Young


2. Anxieties, Bickering, Heartbreak

Is You Is or Is You Ain’t My Baby – Ida James and the King Cole Trio

Better Not Roll Those Eyes  – Harry Barris and Jean Porter

You’re Unfair to Me – Florence Pepper with The Cameo Girls

Buzz Me – Louis Jordan and His Tympany Five

Mailman Blues – Nita Norman

Low Down Dog – Meade (Lux) Lewis and Dudley Dickerson

The Story of Two Cigarettes – Vickee Richards and Don De Leo

I’m Tired – Apus and Estrellita



3.  Playing with Expectations—Loosening & Upending 1940s Stereotypes of Women 

Does You Do or Does You Don’t – Vanita Smythe

He Plays Gin Rummy – Gale Storm and Iris Dawn

The Blushing Bride – Jackie Gately

I’ve Got to Get Hot – Gracie Barrie

Bearcat Mountain Gal – Cindy Walker

Time Takes Care of Everything – June Richmond

Stone Cold Dead in the Market – Gracie Barrie

Minnie from Trinidad – Luba Malina


4. Jumping into Gender Play

Ma, He’s Making Eyes at Me – Ted Fio Rito and His Skylined Music featuring Candy Candido

Faust – Day, Dawn, and Dusk

Shy Anne from Old Cheyenne – Denver Darling and His Texas Cowhands

On the Boulevard – Carolyn Grey and Jimmie Dale

Too Many Sailors – The Burch Mann Dancers

The Better Half – Leila Moore

You Never Know! – The Harem Trio and Arica Wild

Shoeshiners and Headliners – Florence Pepper



5. Dorothy Dandridge and Gale Storm

I’m a Shy Guy – Gale Storm and Ray Shultis

Yes, Indeed! – Dorothy Dandridge and The Five Spirits of Rhythm

Let’s Get Away from It All – Johnny Downs with Gale Storm

Blackbird Fantasy – Dorothy Dandridge with Billy Mitchell

I Know Somebody Who Loves You – Gale Storm with The Fashionaires

Jungle Jig – Dorothy Dandridge and Cee Pee Johnson

The Merry-Go-Roundup – Gale Storm and the Dorn Brothers and Mary with The Palladium Handicap Girls


6.  Straight from the Panoram #4: Soundies Parade of Hits No. 1189, November 20, 1944

Canine Capers – Max and His Gang

The Line Is Busy – Unknown

Tea on the Terrace – Marvel Maxwell

Side by Side – Nick Lucas

Paris Is Gay Again – John Marshall and James Alexander

Dance Impressions – Bobby Davis

Ja Da – The Dixieland Jazz Band

Ain’t She Pretty – The Three Peppers



7. BONUS! Celebrating the Chorus Line

Backstage Blues – Lynn Albritton, Llewelyn Crawford, and The Harlem Cuties

Born to Swing – Ginger Harmon

Brazil – Nilo Menendez and His Orchestra with Maria Del Rey and Raul Martinez

Give the Little Girl a Great Big Hand – Ann Pennington

Chatter – Cook and Brown and the Sepia Steppers

Pan-Americonga – Rita Rio with Allan Baldwin and Theodore

There’ll Be Some Changes Made – Ginger Harmon

Everybody’s Jumpin’ Now – Noble Sissle and Mabel Lee