Rock Docs Series “Soul Train: The Hippist Trip In America” Air Date 02/10/10:
In the 70’s there was American Bandstand and there was Soul Train.Few television series were as innovative and influential as Soul Train. Set first in Chicago, and later in Los Angeles, the Soul Train dance party reached national significance and became the longest running syndicated show in television history. In commemoration of its 40th anniversary, Soul Train: The Hippest Trip In America is a 90 minute documentary celebrating the show’s many contributions to pop culture, music, dance and fashion. From 1970-2006 the series offered a window into the history of Black music, and its charismatic host, Don Cornelius was The Man responsible for a new era in Black expression. A trained journalist, Don created a media empire that provided an outlet for record labels and advertisers to reach a new generation of music fans. As the epitome of cool, many of his expressions entered the popular American lexicon: “A groove that will make you move real smooth,” “Wishing you Peace, Love and Soul!” The documentary will feature performances and great moments from the show, as well as behind-the-scene stories and memories from the cast and crew. In addition, popular musicians, comics and actors of yesterday and today will comment on growing up with the show and will share their stories of how Soul Train affected their own lives.
Popular program elements (from Wikipedia) were the “Soul Train Scramble Board” – “Two dancers are given 60 seconds to unscramble a set of letters which form the name of that show’s performer or a notable person in African American history. In describing the person’s renown, the host concluded their description with the phrase “…whose name you should know.
Near the program’s conclusion, there was also the popular “Soul Train Line”, in which all the dancers form two lines with a space in the middle for individual dancers to strut down and dance in consecutively. Sometimes, new dance styles or moves are featured or introduced by particular dancers.”
Famous and notable in-house dancers included Rosie Perez, Carmen Electra, Nick Cannon, MC Hammer, Jermaine Stewart, Fred “Rerun” Berry, Pebbles, NFL legend Walter Payton, Jody Watley and Jeffrey Daniel.