Sunday, September 23, 2007

Unnecessary ‘Soul Train’ flashback

I happened to flip on the TV around 2 a.m. this morning, and was startled to hear that sproingy bassline from the “Soul Train” theme, circa mid-1980s. The one by O’Bryan.

Yep, they’re showing old “Soul Trains” in syndication now.

The trippy thing about this one was, I recognized one of the dancers. It was none other than Rosie Perez... shakin’ it and breakin’ it.

Cute to see. But here’s the problem. After hearing the first two records – Nu Shooz’s “Point of No Return” and James Brown’s “Gravity” – I couldn’t stands no more. Who needs to be reminded just how sucktastic and craptacular mid-’80s music was?

Not me, brah. I was outtie 5000.

Then I gots to thinking to myself: “Self, if they’re gonna show old ‘Soul Trains’ in syndication, why don’t they bring the real treasure? The hard, nasty ’70s funk... along with the honey-sweet ’70s soul?”

I’m talking ’bout something like this joint right cheer.

So what about that, Don Cornelius? And where them DVDs at?

17 comments:

Justin said...

Soul Train is always necessary.

jena6 said...

I was a HUGE fan of the show and I LOVED the Soul Train Gang! I actually have that O'Bryan ST theme on my mp3 player. It's called "Soul Train's a Comin'". I have the MFSB ST theme "T.S.O.P." on my player as well.

I used to read "Right On!" magazine so I knew the names of all my favorite ST dancers. I even wrote to one: Leonard Allen Jones. Years later I actually meet one Tyrone "The Bone" Proctor; (he's in Jody Watley's "Still a Thrill" video) we became friends.

Anyway, I absolutely remember watching Rosie Perez dance on the show. I mean, you really couldn't miss her, she had moves and a body, so the cameras were always on her. And of course I remember Jody when she danced on the show, as well as Fred Berry (aka "Rerun" from "What's Happening") and Shabadoo Quinones (and his sister Fawn); they were the original Lockers.

A couple of memorable appearances include The Dynamic Superiors and Grace Jones. When Grace performed "Do or Die" she was wearing a cloak. Then she snatched it off to reveal a catsuit to which a horses tail was attached (via belt?). Watching her twirl around and around was so Grace! :-D

They need to put the shows from the 70s-mid 80s on DVD so I can get my old school Soul Train freak on.

Undercover Black Man said...

Justin wrote: "Soul Train is always necessary."

That's cool in theory, brah. But then when I clicked back on to see if maybe they had a kick-ass musical guest, everybody was dancing to "Word Up."

I felt like throwing myself out a window. 1986 wasn't happening.

Undercover Black Man said...

Jena 6: I need to see that Grace clip. Something like has to wind up on YouTube eventually.

Although it looks like Don Cornelius Productions is pretty stringent about clamping down on YouTubers.

DeAngelo Starnes said...

jena6, I remember watching Rosie, too. In fact, right before I left DC to attend law school in CA, I watched Soul Train every Sat. night at 1a. Because of Rosie. She was killin'! Remember the Asian lady the hair down to her ankles? And the bruh wearing sunglasses who posed until the camera hit him, then he'd do a lightening strike move until out of frame.

But Soul Train in the 70s was the pure shit! The Soul Train line? And musical guests performing their hits live - no lip synching. That changed of course.

My all-time favorite Soul Train memory is when Richard Pryor hosted the show. He was killin'! Performed his preacher routine at the end.

A Soul Train retrospective would be an outstanding piece for PBS or TV1.

Comb & Razor said...

you're a bit late with this discovery, UBM!

they've been running "The Best of Soul Train since last December, and they actually did start out with episodes from the early 70s, but they've since worked their way up to the 80s.

unfortunately, i don't think they even bother airing the show in my market anymore... but a couple of folks have been archiving the episodes.

neptune said...

Whoa, synchronicity. I happened to catch the "Word Up" show this weekend too. I was only watching with one eye on the TV but I remember there was a Black woman with a fabulous voice who I didn't recognize. Does anyone know her name?

I'm glad someone mentioned the Asian chick with the ultra long hair. I always wondered if that stuff was real.

jena6 said...

Remember the Asian lady the hair down to her ankles?

Oh, word! She's in Rick James's Super Freak video.

deangelo, do you also remember "Mr. X"? He was the dude with the big toothbrush. How 'bout Damita Jo Freeman and Shalamar's Jeffrey Daniels?

Comb & Razor said...

I was only watching with one eye on the TV but I remember there was a Black woman with a fabulous voice who I didn't recognize. Does anyone know her name?

i think you might be talking about Genobia Jeter... she's Glenn Jones' wife.

CJB said...

Did the Soul Train Scramble Board spell out "Iran Contra Affair"?

jena6 said...

Ha! That was "Crown Heights Affair." :P

Ross said...

Nice, UB, brought back memories to an old player.

Ross said...

Thanks for the comment from the Hammer.

Undercover Black Man said...

Comb & Razor wrote: "... they've been running "The Best of Soul Train since last December, and they actually did start out with episodes from the early 70s..."

Oh damn, that breaks my heart that I missed those!

Son of Issachar said...

lol..I've got to admit the S.T thing never really caught me ( i was born in 79 ) but you know who i do miss,,, Arsenio Hall. Now that was a show...maybe some very talented radio show host could jump on tv-one with something similar, u know fresh, new, undiscovered talent. real artist and such ( duno, could be a winner). but then again what do i know? it would be better that say " get the hook up" lol.

Acanthus said...

Jena6, that Dymanic Superiors clip is on Youtube:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=G3odJDE9M6k

The funny thing is, I thought of this group (and its lead singer in particular), and the gay dancers on Soul Train earlier tonight while watching Byron Hurt's documentary on gender and hip hop. Busta Rhymes left the room when we was asked to comment on the acceptance of gay rappers- he wouldn't talk about it at all. It wasn't always that way.

Jennifer said...

Anyone remember the Italian Stallion guy? He was on the same 80s episodes as the Asian chick with the long hair. He was a regular dancer who eventually became friends with the annoying Zorro guy with all of the stupid props. Dying to find a youtube clip of him!!