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Soundies Distributing Corporation of America photographs
1097  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Important Information for Users of the Collection
  • Biography
  • Collection Scope and Content Summary
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Soundies Distributing Corporation of America photographs
    Date (inclusive): 1940-1946
    Collection number: 1097
    Creator: Soundies Distributing Corporation of America
    Extent: 3 linear feet of photographs.
    Repository: Margaret Herrick Library. Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
    Languages: English

    Important Information for Users of the Collection

    Access

    Available by appointment only.

    Publication rights

    Property rights to the physical object belong to the Margaret Herrick Library. Researchers are responsible for obtaining all necessary rights, licenses, or permissions from the appropriate companies or individuals before quoting from or publishing materials obtained from the library.

    Preferred Citation

    Soundies Distributing Corporation of America photographs, Margaret Herrick Library, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

    Biography

    The Soundies Distributing Corporation of America issued filmed musical shorts for their proprietary jukebox, the "Panoram," between 1940 and 1947. The playback machines were made by the Mills Novelty Company in Chicago, a leading manufacturer of jukeboxes. The Soundies Corporation executive offices and general headquarters were in Chicago, with exchanges there and in Los Angeles and New York. Gordon B. Mills, one of several Mills brothers associated with the Mills Novelty Company, served as president, and James Roosevelt assumed the role of vice president. Three-minute black-and-white 16mm films with optical soundtracks were rear-projected on a small self-contained screen. Subjects included band, dance, and vocal performances of popular, novelty, and ethnic songs. The music covered genres from big band to country to jazz, with artists performing to a prerecorded music track. Dancers, vaudeville acts, comedians, and others also were programmed. Producers William D. Alexander, William Forest Crouch, Ben Hersh, Dick Hyland, Arthur Leonard, and directors Dudley Murphy, Josef Berne, and others were responsible at various times for the creation of the musical short subjects. Production companies include Cinemasters, Inc.; Mills Globe; Minoco Productions, a Mills Novelty Company subsidiary; and R.C.M. Productions, which took its name from Roosevelt, songwriter Sam Coslow, and Herbert Mills. Some 1,800 Soundies were produced and distributed.

    Collection Scope and Content Summary

    The Soundies Distributing Corporation of America photographs span the years 1940-1946 and encompass 3 linear feet. The collection contains a total of 1,119 photographic prints from some 1,100 films. The photographs were intended for publicity purposes and document the performers appearing in the films, including musicians, singers, and dancers, as well as an occasional songwriter.

    Arrangement

    Arranged in the following series: 1. Motion picture production photographs

    Indexing Terms

    Soundies Distributing Corporation of America