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The ’70s American dance and music show

Soul Train

was must see t.v. viewing.


(image from weeklings.com):

soul train, train

“The S-ooo-uuu-l (Soul) Train’

The show featured performances by chart topping Black recording artists.


Abroad the Soul Train stage

(image from eurweb.com):

soul train, gladys knight and the pips

Gladys Knight and the Pips

(image from wbez.com):

Soul Train, Sly Stone

Sly Stone

(image from dr.jays.com):

soul train, the jackson 5

The Jackson 5

The Soul Train t.v. programme was the brainchild of

Donald Cortez “Don” Cornelius.


(image from vibevixen.com):

don cornelius

Don Cornelius

writer, producer, host

Soul Train

A native Chicagoan, Don Cornelius was born in 1936.

He  aspired to a career in broadcasting

and realised his ambition when in 1966

he landed a job as an announcer and disc jockey at a local radio station.

He later conceived the idea of a television programme

to serve as a platform for established and rising Black recording artists.

In 1971, Mr.  Cornelius launched Soul Train on a Chicago t.v. channel.

He moved production to Los Angeles

and the show quickly went into national syndication.

Viewers eagerly clamoured to board the Soul Train.

The show exported Black music to an enthusiastic viewing audience

both in the United States and around the world.

It became integral to the music and fashion scene of the ’70s and beyond.

Commencing with the inaugural show in 1971,

Mr Cornelius would serve as producer and host for the next 22 years.

The Soul Train show continued on air for an amazing 35 years in total.

It was one of the longest running syndicated shows in U. S. television history.

Each week guest artists performed their latest chart hits.

Dancers moving down the ‘Soul Train Line’

inspired copy-worthy steps and fashion styling.

Piloted by Don Cornelius, the Soul Train  ‘had it all going on!’

(image from rollingstone.com):

soul train dancers, on the dance floor

On the Soul Train dance floor

(image from papermag.com):

soul train, soul train line,

The ‘Soul Train Line’

steering the latest dance moves and fashion trends


Interviewed in 1995, by James McKinley, Jr. of the New York times-

Mr.  Cornelius stated,

Soul Train was developed as a radio show on television,

 It was the radio show that I always wanted and never had.

I selected the music, and still do,

by simply seeing what had chart success.”

Added to the music, dance and fashion

was the impressive figure of the host himself.

Tall, handsome, mellow-voiced

and always attired in his signature look

flash fabulous be-spoke suits-

Mr. Cornelius cut an enviable fashion figure.

Don Cornelius

At the ’70s fashion front

wide lapel, form fit suits

wide width ties

colour, graphics, patterns

minimal jewellery

maximum blow out Afro

(image from cnn.com):

don cornelius

In statement black with silver, white accents

(image from gildenmagazine.com):

don cornelius, tan, check print

Beige, check print suit

(images from flickr.com):

don cornelius

Green all in

velvet suit,  satin tie

don cornelius, white, graphic, suit

Bold graphic print, soft grey suit with slate grey outlines

graphic print tie in blue, green colour story

(images from mcrfb.com)

don cornelius, denim patchwork coat

Denim patchwork, long length coat

(images from imgarcade.com)

don cornelius, brown, brocade

Black brocade suit

autumnal colour tie

don cornelius, suit, milky mint

Milky mint green wide collar, wide label, double breasted suit

Sadly, in 2012 at 75 years old,

Don Cornelius was found dead at his Los Angeles home-

officially declared a suicide.

Upon learning of the untimely death of Don Cornelius-

champion of the Black American music industry,

people in Times Square, New York City

spontaneously formed a Soul Train line.

They danced to the music beats, which Mr. Cornelius

helped to popluarise and bring to the mainstream.

Soul Train Line Tribute to Don Cornelius

Times Square, NYC

(image from prince.org):

soul train, line, times square

(image from jjb.yuku.com):

soul train, line, times square

At the end of every weekly Soul Train ride,

Mr. Cornelius bid the viewing audience farewell with the words:

“You bet your last money,

it’s all gonna be a stone gas, honey.

I’m Don Cornelius

and it’s always in parting we wish you

Love.  Peace.  and Soul!”

Don Cornelius signing off, 1977

(image from dr.jays.com):

Don Cornelius

(1936 – 2012)

don cornelius, older, black, pinstripe suit