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Jazz Films

There were a handful of short Jazz films made in the late 1920s and early 1930s. These films were usually one or two reelers, and were shown as shorts before the feature film.

Only four of the below listed films had articles about them on Many can now be found on Youtube and where there is no article to link to we have linked accordingly. A huge amount of work on early short soundies has been done in the time since the Red Hot Jazz Archive was created. The legacy of Vitaphone Project Co-Founder Ron Hutchinson lives on in hundreds of films that might otherwise have been lost.

Ben Bernie and All The LadsBen Bernie and his Orchestra1924 or 1925
Pep and PersonalityTommy Christian and his Orchestra1927
Carnival Nights In ParisHenry Halstead and his Orchestra1927
Reb Spikes and his Follies EntertainersReb Spikes1927
Fred Waring And His PennsylvaniansFred Waring And His Pennsylvanians1927
St. Louis BluesBessie Smith1929
Black And Tan FantasyDuke Ellington and his Cotton Club Orchestra1929
The Opry House pt.1, pt. 2Mound City Blue Blowers1929
SyncopationWaring’s Pennsylvanians1929
Grace Johnston and the Indiana FiveGrace Johnston and the Indiana Five1929
Is Everybody Happy?Ted Lewis1929
Red Nichols and his Five PenniesRed Nichols and his Five Pennies1929
How Can I Love You?Seger Ellis and his Embassy Club Orchestra1929
After SebenChick Webb and his Orchestra1929
Check And Double CheckDuke Ellington1930
King Of JazzPaul Whiteman1930
The Happiness RemedyTed Lewis1931
The Big BroadcastBing Crosby and Eddie Lang, Cab Calloway, The Boswell Sisters, The Mills Brothers1932
Rhapsody In Black And BlueLouis Armstrong1932
I HeardDon Redman1933
Smash Your BaggageElmer Snowden‘s Small’s Paradise Orchestra1933
Symphony In BlackDuke Ellington and his Orchestra1935

A number of films not listed above can be found at 2Reeler Jazz on YouTube. A huge variety of films restored by the Vitaphone Project are now commercially available at

Jammin’ At The Margins: Jazz And The American Cinema, by Krin Gabbard, University of Chicago Press, 1996


The site supplying most of the MP3 files to the Red Hot Jazz Archive pages on is down and many links no longer work. You may find the original and download all of the original RealMedia .ra music files on the WayBackMachine at