Over the course of 35 years and more than a thousand episodes, Soul Train proved itself to be one of television’s greatest ever showcases for music. Every week, the show featured hip young Los Angelenos dancing to the records and the performances of whoever was hot in R&B – and it ran long enough to chronicle the evolution of soul music into disco, funk, and hip-hop. Sadly, it went off the air in 2006, but it’s not forgotten. Last year, Soul Train superfan Questlove wrote an amazing book (Soul Train: The Music, Dance, and Style of a Generation) jammed full of archival photos, and the third Soul Train Cruise (featuring the Isley Brothers and the Commodores) disembarks from Fort Lauderdale on February 23rd.
Click through to watch 12 of our favorite performances, with an emphasis on the show’s Seventies glory days. – Gavin Edwards