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New Life for Soul Train

The New York Times reported yesterday that production company Madvision Entertainment has bought the rights to television’s long-running R&B franchise Soul Train from the program’s founder and former host Don Cornelius. Soul Train ceased producing new episodes in 2006, but continues to air in syndication, including 2 a.m. Saturday night/Sunday morning on its longtime Houston home, Channel 39.

“The plan is to open up the show’s archives for older consumers, as well as to create a new version of the program for younger ones,” wrote Times business reporter Brian Stelter.

Especially in the days before MTV and BET, Soul Train was instrumental in exposing cableless households to the freshest sounds in urban music, and the legendary Soul Train Dancers taught generations of viewers how to move. Unfortunately, there’s precious little footage of the show currently on YouTube, but typing “Soul Train line” into its search engine is another matter entirely. I like the furry things dangling from the lady in the green top's belt:

The article notes that the Soul Train brand has not fared all that well in the Internet age. In fact, about the only things on the show’s Web site are a brief history and the real treasure trove, a complete list of all the talent to appear on the show over Soul Train’s 1,109 episodes. As you might expect, there are a ton of Houstonians and Texans on there. See who after the jump.

1971-72

Show 12: Joe Tex Show 20: Joe Tex Show 27: Joe Tex

1972-73

Show 38: Billy Preston Show 47: Johnny Nash Show 55: Billy Preston Show 57: Archie Bell & the Drells

1973-74

Show 79: Barry White Show 81: Bobby Blue Bland Show 82: Johnnie Taylor Show 85: Billy Preston Show 86: Johnny Nash Show 88: George Foreman (cameo)

1974-75

Show 107: Billy Preston Show 109: Johnnie Taylor Show 117: Mighty Clouds of Joy Show 121: Johnny Nash Show 132: Bobby Blue Bland

1975-76

Show 159: Esther Phillips Show 164: Billy Preston Show 173: Joe Tex Show 176: Johnnie Taylor Show 182: Archie Bell & the Drells

1976-77

Show 186: Johnnie Taylor Show 208: Billy Preston Show 216: Joe Tex Show 219: Archie Bell & the Drells

1977-78

Show 227: Johnny Guitar Watson Show 234: Johnnie Taylor Show 236: Barry White Show 251: Billy Preston, Esther Phillips

1978-79

Show 278: Johnny Guitar Watson Show 280: Barry White Show 296: Billy Preston & Syreeta

1979-80

Show 309: Billy Preston Show 315: Johnnie Taylor Show 334: Salute to Barry White

1980-81

Show 356: Billy Preston

1982-83

Show 399: Tribute to Joe Tex, Barry White (special guest) Show 406: Johnnie Taylor Show 429: Jennifer Holliday

1984-85

Show 472: Johnnie Taylor

1985-86

Show 501: Johnnie Taylor

1986-87

Show 513: Oran “Juice” Jones Show 520: Eric Dickerson (cameo)

1987-88

Show 548: Barry White

1989-90

Show 615: Barry White

1991-92

Show 687: Barry White (with Isaac Hayes)

1992-93

Show 731: Kirk Whalum

1993-94

Show 735: H-Town Show 762: Thea Vidale (host)

1994-95

Show 773: Barry White Show 782: H-Town

1995-96

Show 819: H-Town (with Shirley Murdock) Show 830: Kirk Franklin & the Family

1996-97

Show 834: Jamie Foxx (host)

1997-98

Show 866: Destiny’s Child Show 876: H-Town Show 884: Destiny’s Child

1999-2000

Show 929: Destiny’s Child Show 932: Trin-I-Tee 5:7

2000-01

Show 961: Yolanda Adams (video) Show 977: Yolanda Adams (video)

2002-03

Show 1009: Kirk Franklin

2003-04

Show 1025: Kelly Rowland, Trin-I-Tee 5:7 Show 1029: Michelle Williams Show 1030: Solange Knowles

2004-05

Show 1058: Baby Bash Show 1063: Michelle Williams Show 1065: Beyonce (video) Show 1072: Beyonce (video)

2005-06

Show 1087: Destiny’s Child (video) Show 1093: Destiny’s Child (video) Show 1098: Mike Jones Show 1101: Slim Thug Show 1109 (last show): Chamillionaire - Chris Gray


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