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The concept, of course, wasn’t original. American Bandstand set the standard, and Soul Train was one of many imitators. But it featured different music, different artists, and different dancing. And that great deep voice of host Don Cornelius.
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From its first airing in August, 1970, it was obvious the program would be something special. Just look at the guests on that first episode: Jerry Butler, the Chi-Lites, and the Emotions. And it wasn’t long until the show went into syndication thanks to the sponsorship of the Johnson Products Company. (You certainly remember Afro Sheen, right?)
Cornelius remained with the show for the first 22 of its 35-year history. He was behind two of the shows most interesting segments – the Soul Train Line and the Soul Train Scramble Board. Just for fun, let’s end with the name of a famous African-American in history for you to unscramble: O-R-S-A S-P-A-R-K. Love, peace, and soul.
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