It's so cool... it's...
Spike Lee described the long running syndicated
TV program as an "urban music time capsule."
The late, great Don Cornelius was the creator,
executive producer and host of Soul Train.
I'm calling my new series Shady Train
and I want you to imagine that Don is
still with us and serving as guest host.
of the 20th and 21st centuries using
have uttered during Soul Train's
35 years on the air (1971-2006).
As you watch the clips in this
series you'll notice how the music,
dance steps, clothing, hair styles
and attitudes changed over the
last 80 years. Yessum, this series
spans eight decades and will run
well into the 2020s, so get on board
and ride with me on..The Shady Train!
gang, and give a warm SDMM
welcome to my special guest,
the host of Shady Train...
the one and only
Thank you, Shady Del Knight. It's good to be back here on soul station SDMM. The Shady Train ain't your grandaddy's Chattanooga Choo Choo. You're tuned to the hippest trip in America and you've got a ticket to ride, so all aboard!
Let's kick-off our 50-part series with a sound comin' out of Philly that's a sho 'nough dilly. In 1974, MFSB (Mother Father Sister Brother), the house band for Philadelphia International Records, started a long string of dance hits for the Gamble-Huff enterprise with "TSOP" ("The Sound of Philadelphia") featuring the vocals of the label's premier girl group, The Three Degrees. "TSOP" was adopted as the Soul Train theme and became the first television theme song to reach #1 on the Hot 100. Put some hands together, gang, and let's give a warm welcome to MFSB featuring -- The Three Degrees!
(Apr. 1974, highest chart pos. #1)
The big fun has just begun here on the Shady Train... and now, brace yourself for a live performance by Sweden's hottest export since ABBA, an artist who is taking America by storm. You first met this young lady one month ago on Shady Seaweed's New Year's Rockin' Eve blogcast. Loaded with talent and charisma, she is part Madonna... part Billy Idol... and ALL THAT. Please give a warm Shady Train welcome to an artist who must be seen and heard to be believed -- Robin Carlsson, known to millions of fans as -- Robyn!
Gamble and Huff gave us The Sound of Philadelphia. Mr. Dick Griffey, former talent coordinator for Soul Train, gave us West Coast soul in the 70s on his SOLAR label (Sound of Los Angeles Records). We now switch to Shady Train London and Legs & Co, the all girl dance troupe on the long running British music showcase Top of the Pops, as they perform "And the Beat Goes On," a top 20 hit in 1980 for SOLAR recording artists -- The Whispers!
We're gonna linger in London awhile longer to bring you another exciting Top of the Pops moment - this one featuring award winning British R&B singer, television personality and actress Jamelia whose cover of "Superstar," a song originally recorded by Danish pop artist Christine Milton, topped the charts in Poland, Australia and New Zealand. With this performance, the songstress had the excitement meter pegged and the crowd in the palm of her hand. It's time, gang, to meet and greet -- Jamelia!
South Korean pop culture, or the Korean Wave as it is called, has become a global phenomenon, a major part of which is the music coming from that part of the world. Korean pop encompasses a number of styles including dance-pop, electropop, hip-hop and R&B. We will be featuring the best K-pop girl group recordings here on Shady Train beginning with KARA, an act assembled in 2007. From their 2014 mini-album Day & Night, here performing "Mamma Mia" is the energetic and soulful K-pop ensemble -- KARA!
This young man was born in the nation's capital, raised in Brooklyn and died too soon at the age of 40 in Philadelphia. Singing his 1983 dance club favorite on the Cotillion label "All Over Your Face" -- Mr. Ronnie Dyson!
Melanie Appleby is another artist whose life was cut tragically short. She died of cancer at the age of 23. Melanie was one half of the British sister act Mel & Kim. The duo exploded on the scene in 1986 with the dance-pop number "Showing Out" which went top 5 at home in the UK, topped the chart in four other European countries and reached #1 on the U.S. Dance Club survey. We relive those happier days by enjoying this live performance of their debut hit. Let's make some noise, gang, for -- Mel & Kim!
That does it for this edition of Shady Train. Well do it all over again next time, and you can bet your last money... it's gonna be a stone gas, honey. I'm Don Cornelius, and as always
in parting, we wish you love...peace...and soul!