February 1, 2012


Our 10 Favorite "Soul Train" Performances

Tribune Entertainment
Tribune Entertainment

Soul Train creator and host Don Cornelius left behind a 40-year legacy of music, introducing multiple generations to everyone from James Brown to Jackson 5 to Mariah Carey. Afte reading our obituary, check out 10 of the show's most memorable performances for you to discover—or relive.

Jackson 5 - "Dancing Machine"
The first time Michael Jackson did the robot on stage was on a 1973 episode of Soul Train.

Marvin Gaye - "Let's Get It On"
In a mid-show interview with Don Cornelius, Gaye talks about the songs he just played: "I didn't lip sync 'em too well, but, uhhh, it was fun!"

Stevie Wonder - "Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours"
Wonder rocks the flyest pair of salmon-colored jeans you've ever seen.

Al Green - "Let's Stay Together"
Until Barack Obama sang a bit of "Let's Stay Together" at the Apollo a few weeks back, the Soul Train performance was the signature rendition.

Aretha Franklin - "Rock Steady"
Guess it was hot under those lights: Aretha breaks a sweat in this 1973 clip.

David Bowie - "Fame"
Bowie's collar matches the front of his hair and the sign behind him. We're positive that's not an accident.

The Sugarhill Gang - "Rapper's Delight"
How is it we've heard this song a million times, yet there's barely any video of the New Jersey trio? Watch the pioneers at work.

The Temptations - "Papa Was A Rolling Stone"
Big shoutout to the kid in the oversize bowtie and the shorts who does a flip at 0:56.

Mariah Carey - "Can't Let Go"
Mariah Carey is flanked by a flashing neon New York skyline as Soul Train updates its look for the 1990s.

45 Minutes of James Brown on Soul Train
James Brown is introduced: "Funky music, music, music, for the third world!" Props to the video genius who compiled this musical brilliance.