Google+

Love, Peace, and Soul

 

Behind the Scenes of America’s Favorite Dance Show

Soul Train: Classic Moments

by Ericka Blount Danois

Foreword by Stax Records ex-Chairman Al Bell

Backbeat Books

Paperback, $24.99

264 pages, Illustrated

ISBN: 978-1-4803-4101-2

 

Book Review by Kam Williams

 

Don Cornelius was a class act… a strong black man with dignity and character and integrity… “Love! Peace! And Soooooouuuuuul!” I loved to hear him say that…

 

With Soul Train, we saw ourselves looking good and feeling good. And what enhanced it so much was its creator… He provided the entertainment, but he also doled out information, education, and history weekly…

 

The cultural impact of the show was profound, revolutionary, and evolutionary at the same time… It provided the ability for you to see our great artists on television. Before that, exposure was on the small-club circuits…

 

It was one of the few times that we had the opportunity to see ourselves on television in a manner where it lifted our pride and 51HKuiObyCLincreased our self-esteem… It represented uncompromised authenticity. When you saw us on Soul Train, we weren’t trying to be anything other than us. When you went to any of the other shows, you were in somebody else’s house; when you went to Soul Train, you went home.”

 

— Excerpted from the Foreword by Al Bell (pages vii-ix)

 

Soul Train was a nationally-syndicated TV series which enjoyed a phenomenal, 35-year run from 1971 until 2006. The weekly, song and dance show was the brainchild of host Don Cornelius, a brother who unabashedly-patterned his production on Dick Clark’s American Bandstand.

But the former radio DJ also added a little flava of his own to the proven formula by telescoping his camera as tightly on gyrating black teenagers as on the R&B artists invited to perform on the program. In fact, many members of the Soul Train Gang, as the dancers were called, received tons of fan mail and became stars in their own right. A number were even savvy enough to parlay their fame into entertainment careers, perhaps most notably the late Fred Berry, who played Rerun on the sitcom What’s Happening!

Given the turnover, the one constant remained the show’s self-assured emcee. His velvety-baritone wormed its way into the heart of a generation of young African-American viewers with the help of that signature catchphrase, “You can bet your last money, it’s all going to be a stone gas, honey! I’m Don Cornelius, and as always, in parting, we wish you love, peace and soul!”

Sadly, the bloom had long since fallen off the rose by the time Don committed suicide in February of 2012.  A few years earlier, the sepia Sugar Daddy went through a bitter divorce from a Russian trophy wife who’d had him arrested for domestic violence.

Don pled no-contest to the charge before forking over millions to his ex. Yet, around the same time, he turned down a request for just a few hundred dollars from the impoverished family of a recently-deceased Soul Train dancer to help pay for the dearly-departed’s headstone.

All of the above is revisited in captivating fashion in Love, Peace, and Soul, a mesmerizing trip down Memory Lane, or should I say, breakdance down the Soul Train Line. The behind-the-scenes bio was written by pop culture diva Ericka Blount Danois, a diehard fan who herself was weaned on the groundbreaking program.

A warts-and-all look at the life of an African-American icon who undoubtedly helped launch a thousand show-biz careers.

 

To order a copy of Love, Peace, and Soul, visit:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1480341010/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

 

 

,

Entertainment

For movies opening January 13, 2017

  OPENING THIS WEEK Kam's Kapsules Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun by Kam Williams For movies opening January 13, 2017   BIG BUDGET FILMS The Bye Bye Man (PG-13 for terror, violence, sexuality, bloody images, mature themes, profanity, partial nudity and underage alcohol abuse) Haunted house horror flick about a diabolical, supernatural demon (Doug Jones) unwittingly unleashed by a trio of college students (Douglas … [Read More its Good for You.....]

Books

In the World of Fiction: The Oldies but Goodies Are Back

  In the World of Fiction: The Oldies but Goodies Are Back by Amy Lignor   Readers, 2017 has arrived. And the one thing that rises above all the other so-called ‘trends’ that publishers and book lovers are looking forward to seeing this year is one, undeniable and exciting fact: Beloved authors will step back into the limelight. Trends are odd. There are those of us who never assumed that the whole utopian word as well as dystopian … [Read More its Good for You...]

Art

The Day After the Day Of

  The Day After the Day Of by Paul Ilechko   The sky sheds its tears. This morning is the morning of the day after. The day of mourning, the day after the day of.  I beseech the sky to shed tears in order to wash away the tears on my face.   This is the first day of the time after. This is the beginning of a new time, the days of pain, the days of sorrow. We are in mourning. The sky looks down and sheds its tears for … [Read More its Good For You...]

Real Estate

History Being Sold to the Highest Bidder

  History Being Sold to the Highest Bidder by Amy Lignor   For the longest time, scientists and archaeologists have been confused and bemused by various discoveries they’ve unearthed that offer little or no explanation as to the who, what, and why of the people who created these things or left them behind. Even now, in 2017, there are discoveries being studied; stories that were once legends now have actual bits of proof being found that … [Read More its Good for You.....]

Lifestyle

Groundswell for Chazelle!

  Damien Chazelle The “La La Land” Interview with Kam Williams Groundswell for Chazelle! Damien Chazelle wrote and directed the Academy Award-winning Whiplash which landed five Oscar nominations, including Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay for Chazelle. The movie won a trio of Oscars in the Film Editing, Sound Mixing and Supporting Actor (J.K. Simmons) categories. In 2013, his short film of the same name won the Short Film … [Read More its Good for You...]

Outdoors

Top Five Florida Resorts Catering to Do it Yourself Boaters

  Top Five Florida Resorts Catering to Do it Yourself Boaters By Ted Lund Summertime is adventure time for families that want to boat and fish together, and there is no better way to do that than find a resort that caters to do it yourself boaters and anglers. And no place has options like Florida. But before the family can set sail for adventure, you need to find the right boat. One of the best on the water is the Sea Chaser Hybrid Fish … [Read More its Good for You...]

Sports

The NFL Looks at David vs. Goliath

  The NFL Looks at David vs. Goliath by Amy Lignor   This has been one of those odd football seasons where the facts given at the beginning by those panels of “experts” that “know” a great deal about America’s favorite game, turned out to be more than a little wrong. What’s the strangest thing that just might happen when it comes to the Super Bowl? Easy to answer. It just might be that for the first time a QB who didn’t actually play for … [Read More its Good for You...]

Business

Spotlight on Africa

  Spotlight on Africa by Amy Lignor   As the year winds down and comes to a close, it is Africa that is receiving some headlines that call for many changes and improvements to be made in the coming years. It was Ambassador Amina Mohamed (Nairobi, Kenya) that spoke recently about the African Union Commission (AUC) and how the group must provide leadership in the coming years. After all, the nation of Africa is, in truth, the cradle … [Read More its Good for You...]

Travel

The Grandest New Year’s Celebrations Around the World

    The Grandest New Year’s Celebrations Around the World by Amy Lignor   Oh, yes…there are many, many places to travel in order to ring in that New Year in style. Some people have already stated that they see 2017 becoming one of the ‘best of the best’ years the world has ever seen – from technology to business to education to even “going greener” – heck, green has even been chosen as the top color of 2017. But where should you … [Read More its Good for You...]

Green Living

2017 Will Be Green!

    2017 Will Be Green! by Amy Lignor   This statement is not a “hopeful” imagination talking; it is actually quite true. Very recently the Pantone Color Institute declared that green will most definitely be THE color for 2017. This is a company that calls themselves the “global color authority,” and states that everything from high fashion to trends will be on the green path throughout next year. So…when we look at a “green” … [Read More its Good for You...]