Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Train rolls into the station

There weren't a whole lot of channels when I was kid. Back before my parents got the magic white box with the slider (this before the wood paneled box with the switches and the dial) we had three stations, public television and the religious channel.

On Saturday mornings they played cartoons, only then, instead of all day on two or three cable channels. It was event television. So on Saturday mornings as a kid you camped out in front of the TV for three or four hours to catch the latest stuff. Then you could go out and play. But I watched for a little longer. Because right after the cartoons went off, I took the hippest trip in America.

When I was a kid there was no channel that showed who the musicians were, no videos of their ideas (or rather a director or producer) with them snake dancing to the sounds. We listened to the radio to hear the music, we bought the record to love music, we watched Soul Train to live the music. It was for a long time the definition of cool. At least to me.

I was too young to go anywhere, to far in the country to see anything, so for me Soul Train was it - my ticket to the world outside of where I was. I recognized the dancers, I copied the moves, and I wasn't alone because I can't tell you how many parties I've been to since where people have started a "Soul Train Line" just to keep the party going.

Thank you Don Cornelius. Thank you very much.

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