(I just finished reading Nelson George’s The Hippest Trip in America: Soul Train and the Evolution of Culture & Style, which is something of a companion piece to the similarly-named VH1 documentary of a few years ago. It inspired me to make this Music Friday.)
Curtis Mayfield, “Get Down”. Line Dance
Fred Wesley & the J.B.’s, “Doing It to Death”. Don Cornelius joins Mary Wilson on the Soul Train Line.
The Jackson 5, “I Want You Back”. Motown’s finest recording.
Al Green, “Love and Happiness”.
Elton John, “Bennie and the Jets”.
Aretha Franklin, “Rock Steady”.
Kurtis Blow, “The Breaks”. Hip-Hop comes to Soul Train. From the book:
When Cornelius walked on the stage, Blow expected the standard Soul Train treatment. “We know Soul Train, after the performances, and you’re standing onstage, and Don Cornelius comes out. He gives a couple of accolades: ‘How about another round of applause for this great artist.’ I’ve seen this all my life. I’m anticipating this, and I’m ready for this … So he comes out, you know he has the microphone, he comes up and stands next to me, and he says, ‘I don’t really know what everyone is making so much fuss about all this hip-hop, but nonetheless you heard him here, Mr. Kurtis Blow.”
James Brown, Fifteen Songs.