Soundies: The music videos of yesteryear
Call me a nerd, but I absolutely love big band music. Out of my rather small collection of about fifty vinyl albums, about fifteen of them are from the likes of Louis Armstrong, Glenn Miller, the Dorsey Brothers, and others. When my grandfather passed away a few years ago, he left behind a nice stack of records, and I snatched them all up rather quickly. That music has a timelessness to it that's rare in today's music industry where bands are shuffled through to make way for the next big thing.
The PBS documentary Soundies (check your local listings for airdates) takes a look at "music videos" from the '40s. These weren't the videos we know today, but rather "soundies," viewed through a special machine called a panoram. The documentary is hosted by pianist Michael Feinstein.
I wonder how the likes of Louis Armstrong and Cab Calloway would have approached music differently if they lived in the music video age? I'm trying to imagine Calloway singing "Minnie the Moocher" in front of a greenscreen with sexy underaged dancers and rapid-fire editing. Something tells me he wouldn't have minded all that much.