The ’70s American dance and music show
was must see t.v. viewing.
(image from weeklings.com):
“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):
Gladys Knight and the Pips
(image from wbez.com):
(image from dr.jays.com):
The Jackson 5
The Soul Train t.v. programme was the brainchild of
Donald Cortez “Don” Cornelius.
(image from vibevixen.com):
writer, producer, host
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):
On the Soul Train dance floor
(image from papermag.com):
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.
At the ’70s fashion front
wide lapel, form fit suits
wide width ties
colour, graphics, patterns
maximum blow out Afro
(image from cnn.com):
In statement black with silver, white accents
(image from gildenmagazine.com):
Beige, check print suit
(images from flickr.com):
Green all in
velvet suit, satin tie
Bold graphic print, soft grey suit with slate grey outlines
graphic print tie in blue, green colour story
(images from mcrfb.com)
Denim patchwork, long length coat
(images from imgarcade.com)
Black brocade suit
autumnal colour tie
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):
(image from jjb.yuku.com):
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):
(1936 – 2012)