Soul Train & The Funk Movement

Words By J-man

The mid sixties brought James Brown's signature groove that focused it's emphasis on the downbeat or the first beat of every measure. With a little added swing and swagger the music took America by storm. A key contributor to it's national appeal came in the form of a show created and hosted by Don Cornelius, Soul Train.

Soul Train was an American variety show that was syndicated from October 1971 to March 2006 and featured R&B, Soul, Funk and Jazz musicians artists. The Soul Train concept originated in Chicago in the form of dance programs featuring predominately African American in-studio dancers.

In the program's heyday (1970s & 1980s) it was widely influential among young African Americans who tuned in not only for the latest music, but fashion and dance trends as well. One of those long-lasting trends happened to be funk music.

Funk/soul greats such as James Brown and Curtis Mayfield were featured in the shows prime. Check out Mayfield above singing his hit "Superfly" and the full James Brown episode below. We are lucky enough to literally view history in the making...


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