"You sometimes overlook Soul Train's influence and that at one time Sly really was the shit."
My Saturdays began so early, it was still Friday night to some. I couldn't wait for the weekend, so the excitement jolted me out of bed long before everyone else. I had little choice but to watch the crap cartoons like Colonel Three and Davey & Goliath before cool stuff like the Road Runner and Scooby-Doo came on. E-mail wasn't an option back then.
Saturday mornings were a ritual. And so was "Soul Train." Once I heard that theme music and the voice of Don Cornelius, I knew I had to get my ass in gear. If memory serves, "Soul Train" began at 11:30, and it was always on at my father's house. But by 11:30, I knew the gang was finishing breakfast and starting to assemble outside, on some block. The sounds of "Soul Train" were my reminder that Saturday had officially begun.
Don Cornelius gave me my first real taste of the music I now love so much. The occasional 45 slipped in and out of my grubby little hands, thanks to cousins and Uncles and their hipper-than-most tastes in music. But without the "Soul Train," I would have arrived very late to the Al Green party. Or Luther Ingram. Or Barry White.
Sad news and a great loss.
It's hard to find a bad clip from "Soul Train." This one though, is stellar.
(h/t Gene O.)
(Drummer friends, that is Bill Lordon behind the kit. He went on to be part of Robin Trower's classic trio from 1973-1977.)