May 8, 2009

Old School Friday: Soul Train

The theme for this week is Soul Train! Soul Train is a television show that I watched back in the day. My cousin, Chris, was a dancer on the show when it was taped in Hollywood. He was the star of our family for many years based on his appearances on Soul Train.

Many of y'all don't remember the original Soul Train. That was when the line was couples only and brother and sisters came down it together. As I got older it seems that the Soul Train line took on a new solo dancer look where they alternated the cameras from brothers to sisters.

Soul Train was on in the days when you had to be in front of your set. You couldn't tape the show for later consumption. The Soul Train line would come on at about 40 minutes after the hour. Sometimes, I would switch away from other shows to make sure that I saw the line.

I was in college in the 1980s ... it was the time of Miami Vice. I remember watching Soul Train on Saturday morning and trying to mimic the moves at the club on Saturday night. Did y'all know that Rosie Perez was a Soul Train dancer back in the day?

Of course, the other great thing about the show were the performances by the greatest musical acts of our times. Some of the performers knew how to lip-synch and some didn't! I wonder if any of them ever performed live on Soul Train?

I never watched the show very much after Don Cornelius left it. I understand that original programming for the show ended in 2006 ... after 35 years of production. Nowadays they have the Soul Train Music Awards and the 'Best of Soul Train'.

What is your favorite Soul Train memory?


Hagar's Daughter said...

My favorite Soul Train memories have to be of the dancers going down the Soul Train Line. But I will never, ever forget seeing Al Green in hot pants, pink camisole (tank top), with a man purse. OMG, what was he thinking?

Rufus featuring Chaka Khan, what can I say except LOVE HER.

Happy OSF.

Hagar's Daughter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Revvy Rev said...

No one can move like we did in the 70s. A great example of our creativity and ability to improvise in body movements as we have had to do in our lives.

pjazzypar said...

You made some great choices here. Soul Train brought us some great memories! Happy OSF!

Martin Lindsey. said...

Can never go wrong with early Kool and the Gang and Rufus.

I always remember the Soul Train line too. It was the fancy footwork that impressed me.

And those whistles in the back ground remind me of the roller rink. It's like it was required hardware in the place.

Happy OSF!

Vérité Parlant said...

Great info. with your clips plus good clips. :-) I remember watching Fred Astaire in a 60 Minutes interview, I think, back in the 70s or 80s, and they asked him "Who do you like to watch in dance today?" One of his answers was MJ, I think. But he also said that he loved to watch the young people on Soul Train. He said they were so innovative. It may have been Mike Wallace who was interviewing him, but whoever it was looked slightly amused. I thought that the person must not watch Soul Train or he'd know Astaire was on the mark.

PPR_Scribe said...

"Jungle Boogie" has a special place in my heart. As the oldest grandchild, I once organized a danceline to this (and AWB's "Pick Up the Pieces") the me, my sisters, and cousins performed for our kinfolks. Even now, as all of us are in our 40s, we can still remember some of the moves! LOL

Happy OSF!

Anonymous said...

Jungle Boogie and Chaka Khan. Same day? My day is complete and I am now ready for the weekend!
Thanks Villager!

Kevin Andre Elliott said...

Great picks, Villager!

I'm trying to remember when they made the switch from couples dancing together to single dancers. I distinctly remember both, but can't place when the switch happened.

Jungle Boogie is still my jam. I posted that one today too.

Happy OSF!

Hey Shae! said...

Jungle Boogie is classic on the STL! That was a song they played often while the Soul Train Dancers got their groove on.

Regina said...

My, my, my! AWESOME picks! Jungle Boogie brings back good childhood memories and I love me some Chaka!!