More than three months into its release, the “Soundies: The Ultimate Collection” continues to rack up reviews and coverage.
This week brings a full-page story by Russ Tarby in The Syncopated Times and a review by film maven Laura Grieve on her blog “Laura’s Miscellaneous Musings.”
In his article, Tarby singles out a number of individual Soundies performers, especially Black musicians like Duke Ellington, Dorothy Dandridge, Nat King Cole, the Delta Rhythm Boys, and John Shadrack Horace & Johnny Moore’s Three Blazers in “Along the Navajo Trail.”
But his greatest enthusiasm goes to a more obscure performer. “It’s the lesser-known hillbilly combo, Redd Harper and the Sells, that really stands out thanks to British-born actress Florence Gill,” Tarby writes. “While band members sporting fake beards crank out ‘There’s a Hole in the Old Oaken Bucket’ on guitar, concertina, and tea kettle, an elderly Florence steals the show by clucking like a chicken. Her fowl imitation is so realistic that she often appeared as a hen in Disney cartoons. Unforgettable!”
For Grieve, the entire set is “absolutely stupendous,” with “many hours of watching, reading, and listening enjoyment.” And, she notes, “along with watching the movies, the programs can also simply be listened to. It’s a movie or a music jukebox, as one prefers!”
You’ll find the online version of Russ Tarby’s article here.