April 17, 2009

Penny Lane -- The Video -- Literal Lyrics

For our friends who are big Beatles fans:

You know, I'd heard that David Bowie's Blue Jean was the first true music video. I don't know that I can count the above as a music video by the Beatles so much as some random film clips thrown together that include a bus saying "Penny Lane" as its destination and other than that it doesn't seem to have anything to do with the song.

But a little bit of research reveals that the earliest music videos -- filming people singing songs, either in the form of a stage performance or a set-piece relating to the music, made for the purpose of promoting sales of recordings of that music-- were a collection of about 1,800 jazz, Broadway, vaudeville, and country performances called Soundies dating back to 1940. I can't figure out which Soundie was made first, though.

Hat tip on the "literal lyrics video" to geekgrrrl, who will be hosting the next round of the Carnival of the Godless.

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