PLEDGE NOW
Don Cornelius: The Soul Of Soul Train

We’ll remember the soul of Soul Train.

A screen capture of Don Cornelius on the show Soul Train (YouTube)

A screen capture of Don Cornelius on the show Soul Train (YouTube)

In October, 1971, something new hit the television screens of America.  Chicago host Don Cornelius stepped in front of live cameras and introduced “Soul Train”.  If it looked like “American Bandstand,” that was no accident.

But Soul Train put front and center a world Americans had never seen before on a regular national television show.  Black artists, black musicians, black dancers, black style, black moves.  An exuberant, explosive black pop culture.  This week, Don Cornelius died, at his own hand apparently.  And we’re looking back.

This hour, On Point: the soul of Soul Train.

-Tom Ashbrook

 

Guests

Renee Graham, music and pop culture critic.

Danyel Smith, Editor-in-Chief of Billboard Magazine.

From Tom’s Reading List

Rolling Stone “The death of Don Cornelius, the creator of the long-running television series Soul Train, has rattled fans of R&B, soul and dance music around the world. The news of Cornelius’ apparent suicide is especially troubling for musicians who either appeared on the show or were introduced to many of their favorite artists while watching it each week as kids.”

Time “A photographic look at the seminal dance program and its late creator.”

Tampa Bay Times “When I watched Soul Train host Don Cornelius back in the 1970s, I didn’t see a pro-black entrepreneur who would become the African-American Dick Clark.”

Video: Don Cornelius Greatest Hits

This videos shows some of Don Cornelius’s greatest moments from his hit show Soul Train.

Video: James Brown Plays Soul Train

Watch “Soul Brother Number One” James Brown play a set on Soul Train.

Video: Stevie Wonder On Soul Train 1971

Stevie Wonder plays “Superstition” on a classic episode of Soul Train.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
May 3, 2016
Geri Taylor, camera in tow, at the Hoover Dam in 2014. Photography had been a sideline for 30 years, but now she could really devote time to it.
Courtesy, New York Times. MICHAEL KIRBY SMITH FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES.

We look at how one women prepares for the full onset of Alzheimer’s disease.

May 3, 2016
In this photo taken Thursday, Sept. 17, 2009, fifteen-year-old Amorette Castillo has her sensor checked before starting a series of physical activities at a University of Southern California lab in Alhambra, Calif. Scientists across the country are playing with miniature gadgets and fitting them on the overweight and obese to get an unbiased glimpse into their exercise and eating habits. The cell phone for gathering data is on her hip. (AP Photo/Kim Johnson Flodin)

Weight loss lessons from the TV show “The Biggest Loser”. A study of the show’s contestants reveals why it’s so hard to keep off the weight we lose.

RECENT
SHOWS
May 2, 2016
ADVANCE FOR MONDAY, MAY 2, 2016 AND THEREAFTER - In this April 19, 2016 photo, Laurie Millan, a para-professional and tutor, works with a student during an after school tutoring session at San Francisco International High School, in San Francisco. While some districts in numerous states have discouraged migrant minors from Central America from enrolling in their schools, the school accommodated its youths by rewriting young-adult novels at a basic level to spark the newcomers' interest in reading.  (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Is grit the secret sauce that drives success? More important than both talent and intellect? We’re talking the power and limits of grit.

 
May 2, 2016
A man walks on the rail tracks of a train station turned into a makeshift camp crowded by migrants and refugees, at the northern Greek border point of Idomeni, Greece, Friday, April 29, 2016. Many thousands of migrants remain at the Greek border with Macedonia, hoping that the border crossing will reopen, allowing them to move north into central Europe. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

A top former US diplomat says refugees and tribalism are pulling Europe apart and that the US needs to get involved- to help Europe by helping refugees.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Devoured: We Are What (And How) We Eat
Tuesday, May 3, 2016

From chicken wings to kale smoothies, we look at what we eat, and how challenging it is to eat well in America.

More »
Comment
 
‘Embedded’: How Violent Gangs Are Terrorizing El Salvador
Thursday, Apr 14, 2016

NPR’s Kelly McEvers on her reporting in El Salvador for the podcast Embedded, and how gang killings brought San Salvador’s bus service to a halt.

More »
Comment
 
That Cheap Dress On Facebook? It Isn't Worth It
Monday, Apr 11, 2016

Know those shockingly cheap clothes you see advertised on Facebook? There’s a catch.

More »
Comment