Love, Peace, and Soul
Love, Peace, and Soul
Behind the Scenes of America’s Favorite Dance Show Soul Train:
by Ericka Blount Danois
foreword by Al Bell, former chairman and owner of Stax Records
Available September 2013
Soul Train was a show created in the land of bell-bottoms, afros, and soul power; a show that became a touchstone of the Baby Boomer generation. It set the stage for dance shows like So You Think You Can Dance and variety shows like the Wayans’ In Living Color. The host and owner of the show, Don Cornelius, one of the coolest cats on television, created a showcase that made formerly no-name artists go platinum. It gave young activist Jesse Jackson a spotlight when he gave a weekly update on the progress of Operation Breadbasket. It provided a place to host beauty pageants with Hal Jackson’s Talented Teens, and it awarded scholarships to students. It was one of the first unapologetically black shows—behind the camera and in front of it.
Love, Peace, and Soul: Behind the Scenes of America’s Favorite Dance Show Soul Train: Classic Moments (Backbeat Books, Sept. 2013, $24.99) by Ericka Blount Danois tells the story of the television phenomenon Soul Train, from Cornelius’ humble beginnings with the local version of the show in Chicago, all the way to his shocking suicide in 2012. Music and television connoisseurs will enjoy the history of not just Soul Train, but of Shindig!, Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert, Hullabaloo, American Bandstand, and Graffiti Rock. Fans will delight in the lively images and quirky details that fill these pages, as well as a complete list of episodes. Author Ericka Blount Danois has this to say on her experience watching the show:
We watched Soul Train through the ’70s where regional dances and the golden years of soul, disco, and funk music were given a national platform. We watched as the alternately sexualized and conservative culture of the ’80s brought back boy bands, new jack swing, and a new culture dubbed hip-hop. And through the ’90s and the 2000s where the show struggled to maintain an identity while it mixed all of these genres together, resulting in a sometimes disjointed, but still entertaining product.
Love, Peace, and Soul is a celebratory, behind-the-scenes collection of anecdotes, stories, and reflections, from the people who were there, about the host, the show, and the power of black music and dance on television.
Ericka Blount Danois is an award-winning writer who writes about pop culture, music, sports, and television. She has written for the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, ESPN the Magazine, Sports Illustrated, JazzTimes, Spin, and Vibe magazine, among others. Her website is http://www.erickablount.com. She lives in Baltimore, MD, and is available for interview.
Sept. 17, 2013
6” x 9”
Two 8-page color inserts
Backbeat Books, an imprint of Hal Leonard Performing Arts Publishing Group
Advance Praise for Love, Peace, and Soul
In Love, Peace, and Soul, Ericka Blount Danois relives Soul Train’s real meaning and retrieves Cornelius’s true legacy with love, craft, and meticulous research.
—Dan Charnas, author of The Big Payback: The History of the Business of Hip-Hop