Seems like every other week I turn around, someone has passed.
Yesterday, it was Don Cornelius. The creator and original host of Soul Train, I never met the man. But I did happen to fall in love with and marry someone who did – My husband, Ryeal Simms: former Soul Train dancer.
O.K. that’s not my hubby’s formal title. Although, if you had seen him Roger Rabbit down the Soul Train line, it might be up for debate. LOL! The boy was a stone gas, honey. And I don’t remember seeing him back in the day, but I must have, because my sister and I loved Soul Train.
Fam, just like you, we parked ourselves in front of the television and watched it every Saturday. The performances, though lipsynched, were good substitute for us who couldn’t afford concert tickets. And I always unscrambled the Soul Train board puzzle before the stupid couple did.
My favorite part of the whole show, though, was the Soul Train line. In fact, I’m gonna stick my neck out on the tracks and say that the Soul Train line was Don Cornelius’ greatest gift to mankind.
Would Michael Jackson – who admitted to studying the dancers on the show – ever have had the funky moves to ease on down the road, if not for the Soul Train line?
I don’t think so.
From weddings to barmitzvahs, you can find folks doing some version of the Soul Train line all around the world. Whether shuffling, bopping, sliding, gliding or doing an awkward two step, folks from all walks of life can’t wait to shake what their mommas gave them down the line for all to see.
It’s simple. Yet magical. And we have Don Cornelius to thank for that.
Now, did Mr. Cornelius invent dancing down a line? No, but he did make it hip and cool. And he put it on a global stage for the entire world to celebrate.
If that ain’t the definition of soul, I don’t know what is. 😉
Fam, what Soul Train memory are you most grateful for?