The “hippest trip in America” returns for a Chicago celebration.This weekend, Chicago hosts the “Soul Train 40th Anniversary Labor Day” concert at Millennium Park. With special guest Don Cornelius, the host and founder of Soul Train, the concert pays tribute to this legendary dance show. Cornelius and others will be there celebrating, can you dig it?
The “Soul Train 40th Anniversary Labor Day” concert is Monday, September 5, 2011 at 6:30 p.m. at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion. Featured artists include: Jerry Butler and the Impressions, The Chi-Lites, The Emotions, and the “Duke of Earl” hit maker, Gene Chandler, among others.
Editor’s Note: Chicago Recording Artist Bobby Hutton performed live (see below) on the very first national pilot show of the nationally syndicated SOUL TRAIN music tv show with Don Cornelius, yet for some reason Bobby Hutton was not included in the reports of Chicago recording artists set to perform for the 40th Year Anniversary of The Soul Train show in Chicago this Labor Day Holiday! See link below.
Steppers and dancers join the celebration with an exclusive trip down memory lane. The concert culminates the Soul Train Photo Exhibition, running its final days at Expo 72 on Randolph Street.
On Sunday, September 4, the film screening of “Soul Train: The Hippest Trip in America” with Don Cornelius will be featured at Gene Siskel Film Center in Chicago. General admission is $11.00 for this 2 pm event, followed by Q&A with Don Cornelius.
Soul Train premiered in 1971. Series creator, Don Cornelius was once the former backup disc jockey for Chicago’s WVON radio station. He later joined WCIU-TV as news/sports reporter. While working on his own, he promoted and emceed a series of concerts featuring local talent. Cornelius often referred to his ‘caravan of travelling shows’ as “The Soul Train”. There the idea was created and the program was developed. The Chicago syndicated program eventually moved to Los Angeles. Cornelius continued hosting the local Chicago show and Los Angeles program simultaneously. In 1993, Cornelius turned his interest towards working behind the scenes. Guest hosts and various actors like, Shemar Moore, and Dorian Gregory, eventually became weekly host.
Soul Train’s debut during the rise of R&B and Motown quickly made it a youth favorite. Local teens lined up for blocks hoping to get on the show. Many who appeared became local celebrities. Viewers tuned in Saturday mornings to watch their favorite artists perform. Soul Train introduced the latest hair, fashions, and dance trends. The inspiring ‘Soul Train Line’ gave dancers a chance to show off their latest dance moves, a trend still popular today.
For 35 years this variety dance show featured legendary performances and top acts in R&B, soul, gospel, and hip hop. During the disco era, dance shows like Soul Train thrived. On Monday, September 5, 2011 Chicago honors the 40th Anniversary Soul Train Concert.
The concert is made possible, in part, through Amtrak in commemoration of its 40th Anniversary. This free concert is presented by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, in partnership with the Chicago Office of Tourism and Culture in honor of its 40th anniversary.
For more information, visit City of Chicago Events.