My Favorite Things (MFT)-Down Memory Lane

Periodically, I’ll hightlight one or a few of my favorite things. No, not like Oprah – there will be no giveaways! It may be products, movies, music, or anything. Remember, this spot is all about a little bit of this and a little bit of that, so…

Today’s MFT is the television music show “Soul Train”. Before BET videos, before “106th and Park”, there was and always will be the SOOOOOOOOOOUUUUUL TRAAAIN!! Saturday mornings…doing chores around the house…eating cereal…and standing/sitting/dancing in front of the TV watching cool-as-a-cucumber Don Cornelius and the Soul Train Dancers. Who can forget that deep soulful voice, with the 10-foot collars, silver bangle bracelet, wire-rimmed glasses and perfectly-coiffed Afrosheen blowout kit-inspired Afro?! Please tell me I was not the only little girl with a crush on Don Cornelius?

Centric (the channel formerly known as BET-J) carries Soul Train reruns and I’m in love all over again. Yes, I’m a child of the 70’s, but was still quite young during many of the early ST episodes, so I’m seeing a lot of these for the first time. Between reminiscing and learning something new, I am really enjoying catching these episodes on the weekends. What happened to being able to watch ST and learn or perfect the latest dances? We don’t even have dances anymore. All we have is booty-shaking, gyrating, and The Cupid Shuffle/Electric Slide/Cha-Cha Slide (all of which are nothing but new-fangled versions of The Hustle and The Bus Stop!).

…but I digress…

Watching Soul Train is not just about remembering the music, or the dances, or the fashions. It’s about remembering the era. When you watch Soul Train, you think about what was going on in your life, and in the world when these songs were playing. A few weeks ago, I saw an episode with The Sylvers – remember them? They were the “new” Jackson Five (and pre-cursor to DeBarge!). Another big family of pretty teens, with the cute young sibling on lead vocals. Yes, I had a BIG crush on Foster Sylvers. It reminded me of my sister’s cut-out pictures from Right On! magazine (I KNOW y’all remember Right On!) that peppered her walls, right next to the J-5 posters. I remembered the summers when everyone in the block sat on our porch – we lived on the corner – listening to music. My mother sometimes had to call out the window for us to hold it down. Now these kids were teens, and I was only 5, so I was not exactly hanging out with them. But I remember them being there!

Soul Train is a reminder of family reunions down South when all your cousins got together for the “big show” that Saturday night, when we would showcase our talents for the older family members. Doing the latest dances, and showing off the way we did the dances “up North” versus how our Southern cousins did them. These were simpler times. These were fun times.

Maybe I’ll start a “Back down memory lane” series? What do you think? Until then, “as we always say in parting. Wishing you love, peace and SOOOOOUUUUL!”

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