29 January 2007 | dgordon-1
Last Of A Great Genre!
I was only able to catch episodes of "Soul Train" sporadically throughout the '70s and '80s. It was broadcast CBC, channel 5, here in Toronto for about a season on Saturday mornings, then disappeared. It wasn't until the early '90s that I was able to catch this show on WPIX-New York, and WGN-Chicago, that were available on cable here. One thing is for sure, the energy of this show dropped off a lot after the '80s. It was still enjoyable to watch, but didn't have the same electricity that the show had throughout the '70s and '80s. When Don Cornelius left the show and guest hosts appeared, it was not bad, but it further lost it's energy. For the current shows, it only looks like there is about a handful of people in the studio. In the '70s & '80s, the main dance-floor was packed, and there were dancers on the stage, which gave it a real club feel. Presently, it's just the dancers on the catwalks that are shown. When an artist is performing, that is when you see the main population of dancers on the dance-floor. They don't dance anymore. Everyone just stands and watches the artist that is on the stage. Lately, CW23, out of Buffalo is playing "The Best Of Soul Train" on Sundays at midnight. This is great to see and experience the show all over again from the '70s and '80s. The great thing about "Soul Train" was that is showed R&B, Hip Hop and Pop acts that you wouldn't see on other shows like "American Bandstand", or here in Toronto, it was "Boogie" and later on, "Electric Circus". I have been a fan of R&B and Hip Hop for years, and always enjoyed seeing the acts that you wouldn't see anywhere else, except for maybe on BET. Even with this, there were artists showcased on "Soul Train" that never saw their videos broadcast on BET. It's too bad that the show has not maintained the same energy, but then again, the music biz, and Hip Hop/R&B have changed drastically over the years. I am glad to see that "The Best Of Soul Train" is airing once again. It's a great blast from the past, when it was all about the music, and not so much about how much money could be made from an artist or song.