This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
Cause Magazine


It turned out to be a great vehicle for the emerging “Black is Beautiful” ethos. Back then, just wearing your hair in a natural style was a bold socio-political and fashion statement. On Saturday mornings you could tune in to “Soul Train” and see a screen full of big Afros, platform shoes and studded denim as the kids boogied and shim- mied to the music of the likes of James Brown, Earth Wind & Fire and other acts less likely to get on "American Bandstand." It was its own mini-revolution, bringing funk and soul to the tel- evision airwaves for the first time. Cornelius always made sure the show had solid production values and he did much to increase the hiring of black pro- fessionals in the entertainment business. That included every- thing from grips and gaffers to


directors and cameramen. That growing behind-the-camera presence was just as important back in the day as the success of the show itself.


On a recent VH-1 documentary about the show, Cornelius recounted the time that James Brown came on the show and was so impressed, he repeatedly asked, “Don, who’s backing you on


this?”Cornelius told him, "It's just me, James. But the King of Soul could hardly believe it, and kept asking, "No really, brother, who's behind you on this?” In those days, even for a “Black Power” advo- cate it was hard to believe that a show like that could succeed on its own without any input from the white corporate power structure. With its great music and per-


formances, “Soul Train” attracted a sizeable crossover audience as well, although it always remained true to its original vision. In the mid-seven- ties, the show even welcomed Elton John and David Bowie to perform on its stage. The show always had a reg- ular and loyal audience, and it was able to adapt to the many changes in the music industry over its 35 year reign. Over the years, R&B, Soul, Funk, Disco, Hip Hop and Rap all


had a stop on the line. Cornelius stepped down as "Soul Train" host in 1993 when he felt his dapper “old school” persona was no longer right for the changing and somewhat grittier times. The show carried on until 2006, but for many it was never quite the same without Don on the mike. He continued to produce the “Soul Train Music Awards” which always included an entertaining mix of


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84  |  Page 85  |  Page 86  |  Page 87  |  Page 88  |  Page 89  |  Page 90  |  Page 91  |  Page 92  |  Page 93  |  Page 94  |  Page 95  |  Page 96  |  Page 97  |  Page 98  |  Page 99  |  Page 100  |  Page 101  |  Page 102  |  Page 103  |  Page 104  |  Page 105  |  Page 106  |  Page 107  |  Page 108  |  Page 109  |  Page 110  |  Page 111  |  Page 112