This morning, Soul Train creator and host Don Cornelius was found dead from an apparent suicide at age 75, and the outpouring of grief and nostalgia was probably best summed up by the Roots’ ?uestlove, whose Brooklyn Bowl party Bowl Train is an homage to the show. He wrote passionately about how the weekly airings of Soul Train influenced his development both as a budding musician and as an African-American youth coming of age in the ’70s, and he noted that he carries video of old Soul Train episodes around (they’re on hard drives now)—he also noted that his passion extended to him evangelizing the show to musicians he worked with, like D’Angelo (right around the time that they started working on Voodoo) and Erykah Badu. In that spirit, here are seven standout clips culled from the extensive YouTube archive of clips from the show (chosen with the assistance of Michaelangelo Matos, who also linked a few choice cuts of Al Green, Stevie Wonder, and Marvin Gaye appearing on the show in his tribute); this is barely a fraction of a fraction of what Soul Train brought into American living rooms during its TV run, so feel free to link to your own favorites in the comments section.
The Five Stairsteps perform “Oooh Child”
Ashford & Simpson perform “Somebody Told A Lie”
The Soul Train Gang interviews Gladys Knight & The Pips
Don Cornelius interviews Janet Jackson
Public Enemy performs “Rebel Without A Pause” and talks to Don Cornelius (with bonus Long Island pride)
The Soul Train Dance, as set to War’s “Cisco Kid”
Don Cornelius dances the Soul Train Line