Books on the Talkies

A list of useful reference books and booksellers which deal with vintage popular music and the talkies

this page first published by John Wright, 20 May 1997
last update 1 May

E-mail me if you know a good book to add to this list

Vintage record collectors love to see their favourite artistes on early movies - the talkies. On this page I have a list of recommended books, and some of them can be ordered today through Booksellers including and others on the Internet.
On separate pages you'll find a list of and .

Film Books

  1. The Talkies : American Cinema's Transition to Sound, 1926-1931 (Oxford University Press).
    by Don Crafton, ISBN: 0684195852
    You can order The Talkies Today! from

  2. The Hollywood Musical by Clive Hirschhorn (1991).
    This book has been my main source for my film/songs listings. Reviews of over 600 talkies 1927-1947 and a still from every one of them, also details of musicals up to 1988.

  3. Entertainers In British Films by Denis Gifford (1998)

  4. A Song In The Dark by Richard Barrios (1995)

  5. Jazz In The Movies by David Meeker (1977)

  6. Who Sang What On The Screen by Alan Warner (1984)
    Details of over 1000 film songs from 1920's - 1980's, many stills and sheet music illustrated.

  7. The Melody Lingers On by Roy Hemming (1986)

  8. Encyclopaedia Of The American Musical Film by Stanley Green (1988)

  9. The Hollywood Musical by Arthur Jackson and John Russell Taylor (1971)

  10. The Great Songwriters of Hollywood by Warren Craig (1980) ISBN 0498024393
    lists of songs in films penned by 30 of the top songwriters for Hollywood

  11. Lew Stone: A Career In Music by Kenith Trodd, published by Joyce Stone (1971)
    an interesting book, rather like a scrapbook of Lew's career, but containing also a full discography and filmography of the important British bandleader whose career spanned 1920's - 1960's.

  12. Broadway's Prize-Winning Musicals : An Annotated Guide for Libraries and Audio Collectors by Leo N. Miletich (1993)
    You can order Broadway's Prize-Winning Musicals Today! from

  13. Edwin Matthias reports there are two books of interest to collectors of Bing Crosby records:
    J. Roger Osterholm's Bing Crosby : a bio-bibliography (Greenwood Press, 1994). Includes discography, filmography, radiography, videography, bibliography and index.
    Timothy A. Morgereth's Bing Crosby : A discography, radio program list and filmography (McFarland & Co., 1987).


Where can you get these books ?

1. or In the list above those with Order Today! can indeed be ordered via their links. For the other books you can search or by:

using the search links:

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or browse the websites:

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Search by author, title, or a subject keyword.

Alternatively, these books may be available from some good record shops or book shops. Check with specialised shops listed in my 78rpm shops in UK page and my 78rpm shops in USA page, or you could contact any of the following booksellers:

  1. Eddie Baxter Books (UK) can get copies of any out-of-print titles. To try their Booksearch service contact Eddie Baxter, The Old Mill House, West Pennard, Somerset BA6 8ND

  2. Leisure Hour is a set-price sales magazine with usually around 300 items - lists of books on all musical subjects, discographies, catalogues, 78's, LP's, CD's.
    Subscription for 4 issues: UK 4, Europe 5, Airmail Zone 1 6, Airmail Zone 2 7.
    To: John R Wrigley, 185 The Wheel, Ecclesfield, Sheffield S35 9ZA
    Tel: 0114-246-0275. E-mail

  3. Allen Koenigsberg has a List of Phonograph Books for sale. Also check Allen's Booklist and Publications List for sale, of interest to the vintage music collector.

  4. G's Jazz, Inc. Rare and out of print jazz books, magazines, videos, memorabilia and LP recordings for sale to collectors. Inquiries welcome, 24 hour fax.
    Gary Alderman, P.O. Box 259164, Madison, WI 53725-9164 USA
    Phone: (608)274-3527, Fax: (608)277-1999
    Visit website:

  5. America's premier 78 auctioneer also has a catalogue of books for sale
    Visit Nauck's webpage

  6. A & R Booksearch can supply popular music books spanning the last 125 years, biographies and discographies.
    or Tel: (UK) 01503-220246, Fax: 01503-220965
    or write: A & R Booksearch, High Close, Winnock Cross, Lanreath, Looe, Cornwall PL13 2PF, UK

  7. Also try Abebooks, see website.

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