With the tragic death of Don Cornelius, I thought it only appropriate to offer this tribute to Soul Train, a show that aired throughout the United States for 35 years, from October 1971 to March 2006. Cornelius was the creator of the show, as well as the original host and the Executive Producer. He remained the driving force behind the show for the run. I won't lie, I used to watch it all the time when I was younger. One of the strong images I have of the show is the dancing down the line. There were some incredible dancers on the show, and this really showed them off. So I chose to highlight that segment, and the first one I have is the dancers moving to Curtis Mayfield's Get Down, first released in 1971.
And I certainly remember the O'Jay's well. The Philadelphia-based R&B group had many a hit, including the 1972 smash, Love Train. When you hear the song, you can't help but be joyful.
In 1983, Michael Jackson had yet another big hit on his hands with PYT (Pretty Young Thing), off his mega-successful album Thriller. In an odd note, it is said that despite the popularity of PYT (Pretty Young Thing), Michael never performed it live. Also, the background vocals were recorded by Michael's sister, Janet and La Toya.
In 1977, you couldn't go anywhere dancing was being had, and not hear a song by the Commodores, especially the great hit Brick House. I remember going to high school dances and getting groups out on the floor, groovin' to this tune.
Don Cornelius was found dead in his home on Wednesday, February 1, 2012, of an apparent suicide. It is rumored that he was suffering from the onset of dementia or Alzheimer's disease, and fading health. May he rest in peace.