So as we all know by now, Don Cornelius, the man behind Soul Train was found dead yesterday. Not only did I grieve for him and his once magnificent afro, I grieved for the passing of an era. Soul Train was at the forefront of African American television, but everyone could watch it. In hindsight the show wasn’t all that entertaining in and of itself. What made the show was the throng of people who clamored weekly to get on the show. Decked out in what was then the hottest fashion and the best looking hair. Let’s all admit we all just watched to see these people strut their stuff down the Soul Train line.
It was also on during the Disco era. I don’t know why everyone now a days is so down on the disco era. It looks like it was one of the most fun times ever. Back then the Bee Gees were big. The Jacksons were grown up and Michael Jackson was going off on his own. Gloria Gaynor appeared. They got KC and the Sunshine Band. All the music that is classic and that people are even now to this day still dancing to. Well I do anyway, you don’t have to admit it if it so moves you.
I wasn’t born until ’79 but looking back on that decade there is one thing I wish I was around for…The Disco Skating Rinks. That would have been awesome to throw on some gold hot pants, some skates, put my hair up in some afro puffs and skate dancing to the hottest jams. I would have LOVED this. I see that and lament on what my later birth caused me to miss out on. Cause I can see myself skating around to “Dancing Machine”.
I thank Don and Soul Train for giving me that look into the past and sharing it with the masses. I will never get the full effect of it, but at least I have this show to look back on and enjoy it from a voyeuristic standpoint. And while disco music still lives on through old school radio stations, weddings, anniversaries and family reunions, we can never forget the impact that this era had on our fashions, our music and our hearts and minds.