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

Love Gurus Date Despite Philosophical Differences in Delightful Romantic Romp

  The Bounce Back Film Review by Kam Williams Love Gurus Date Despite Philosophical Differences in Delightful Romantic Romp   Love guru Matthew Taylor (Shemar Moore) is the author of the new best seller, "The Bounce Back." Accompanied by his enterprising business manager, Terry (Bill Bellamy), he's been hawking the self-help book on plenty of TV and radio programs. Since Terry believes that "Image is everything," he's concerned that … [Read More its Good for You.....]

Books

Volume 2 of Yes Sir, Yes Sir, 3 Bags Full! – You Do NOT Want to Miss This

  Volume 2 of Yes Sir, Yes Sir, 3 Bags Full! – You Do NOT Want to Miss This Book Review by Amy Lignor What began in an unforgettable Volume 1—living Jerry Hall’s story and dealing with the heart-wrenching issues of the Viet Nam* War—continues here. The action of battle, fraught with the unending horrors that the “unwanted veterans” dealt with, grows even more painful. And as war comes closer to an end, what should have been peaceful … [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

New Home Sales Jump in April

  New Home Sales Jump in April By Burt Carey Sales of new homes hit their highest rate since 2008 in April, according to the Commerce Department’s U.S. Census Bureau. April sales increased 16.6 percent over March figures, which correlates to a seasonally adjusted rate of 619,000 home sales projected for the year. The median price of those new homes was $321,000, the highest median price ever recorded. That’s up 9.7 percent … [Read More its Good for You.....]

Lifestyle

Inside WildAid

  Inside WildAid by Amy Lignor   Donations can be made. Time can be volunteered. There are a great number of charities, organizations and hard workers out there who strive with everything they have to save the animals of the world. The National Wildlife Administration, the World Wildlife Federation – these are just two leaders that help keep our beloved species’ on the map. There is also an organization whose sole mission is to end … [Read More its Good for You...]

Outdoors

Skeeter Boats Comes Up with Cure for Cabin Fever

  Skeeter Boats Comes Up with Cure for Cabin Fever By Craig Lamb   If you are overdosing on TV fishing shows, mindlessly flipping through tackle catalogs, or feeling down and don’t know why, then you are not alone. Count yourself among most of the fishermen in the entire country. We have cabin fever. It’s common this time of year when hunting and football overtake wetting a line on the list of weekend priorities. Or, it’s just plain too … [Read More its Good for You...]

Sports

The Best & Worst (So Far) of the 2016 NFL Season

  The Best & Worst (So Far) of the 2016 NFL Season by Amy Lignor     Okay…we’re almost dead center, folks, so it’s time to sum up the best and silliest actions and reactions that the 2016 NFL season has provided fans thus far.   Analysts are always yapping, and most likely nothing they say will actually come true. However, right now almost everyone is agreeing to the fact that Tom Brady has a score to settle. Yes, … [Read More its Good for You...]

Business

Charity Begins at Home

  Charity Begins at Home by Amy Lignor   Turning a blind eye is easy for some; preferred by others. But the fact is that the bad doesn’t become good – in any area – unless eyes are open wide to not only see what’s occurring, but also to gain the knowledge needed to stop the bad from getting even worse. Remarks are made about “other countries” and what they do wrong when it comes to the harming of animals for profit. However, in … [Read More its Good for You...]

Travel

Exploring the Holidays Around the Globe

  Exploring the Holidays Around the Globe by Amy Lignor   Thanksgiving has been had. Games have been watched and the golden turkey has caused a great many belts to be loosened. So…here it comes!   From hanging the stockings on the chimney with care to the red-nosed reindeer who had to be there; from Santa heading down that chimney just right to lovely sleigh bells ringing softly in the night, the holiday season is a truly … [Read More its Good for You...]

Green Living

Forecasting Climate Change

  Forecasting Climate Change by Amy Lignor As with anything in this world, it depends on whose opinion or observations you trust as to just how bad climate change is becoming. As 2016 begins to wrap up, climate scientists, atmospheric physicists, chemists, oceanographers – you name it – no one can come up with any other explanation for climate change and the warming of our planet other than human activity. How fast is it happening? … [Read More its Good for You...]