The Soul Train has finally made its last stop, and what better place than the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture for the show’s 40th anniversary?
Last night, the Smithsonian showcased an exhibit featuring a collection from what many know as the “hippest trip in America.”
One of the first Black shows to have crossover appeal in the country, Soul Train, which was launched in 1971 by the legendary Don Cornelius, seduced people from all over the globe to move their bodies for one hour every Saturday morning. The show also highlighted some of the best acts in Pop, R&B, and Hip-Hop throughout its 35 years of existence.
Check our exclusive video from the ceremony and party, which features Tony Cornelius (Don’s son), Kenard Gibbs (CEO of Soul Train Holdings), Questlove of The Roots, and original Soul Train dancer Tyrone “The Bone” Proctor.
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“This is one of those television shows that beamed African American culture to households of black and white America, where generations of kids learned the latest and coolest dances,” said Lonnie G. Bunch, founding director of the museum. “We are grateful to Soul Train for donating an important piece of American history and pop culture to our museum.”
The museum has acquired several iconic objects including two 10-feet-wide neon signs used on the series between 1993 and 2006, one featuring the program’s signature dancing train and the other displaying the television show’s name. Also in the collection is a Soul Train Music Awards sign used during the 2006–2007 awards show.