Soul Train dancing to Curtis Mayfield

TuneUp's Gabe Adiv has been deep into the vintage Soul Train offered on-demand by his cable provider. Inspired to share the boogie, he found this great moment on YouTube. Here are the Soul Train dancers in 1971 getting down to Curtis Mayfield's "Get Down."


  1. I didn’t realize gladiator sandals were so retro. I guess we owe the revival to vintage soultrain videos.

  2. The upside to living in 2010 is that we have the Internet, iPhones, and all sorts of treatments for diseases that used to kill us.

    The downside, of course, is that we’ll never be able to be on Soul Train.

    1. The upside to living in 2010 is that we have the Internet, iPhones, and all sorts of treatments for diseases that used to kill us.

      The downside, of course, is that we’ll never be able to be on Soul Train.
      Ha! :) This made me smile :)

      There’s a lot of Soul Train on the internet, eg It’s good for what ails you!

    1. this is how anybody today could dance and be cool.

      not that i don’t know what you mean, but i see anybody grooving like this at a venue, it puts a smile on my face. even if they’re trying too hard.

    1. You’re thinking of Herbie Hancock’s “Bring Down The Birds” from his soundtrack for the movie “Blow Up.”

  3. These people should ALL have a copy of this video at their fingertips so every time their kids (and yeah, by now even grandkids) lip off to them, they can hit the Play button and show them just how Bad.Ass. they were, along with a reminder that Time and Karma are bitches.

  4. someone with a physique of one of the average dancers in this video, these days, would get stares (and perhaps if female accused of not being a “real woman”).

    so refeshing to see back when average wasn’t so bloated.

    1. You said it, rijrunner, though somehow I always ended my Saturday morning cartoon fix on ABC, so it was “Bandstand Boogie” that told me it was time to turn off the Curtis Mathes and get my butt outside.

      Still, if I could go back in time, I’d have hung in there for Soul Train. God, that looks like the best time ever. Who would have thought that after thirty-plus years, the video games would be a million times better and the music would be a zillion times worse?

      1. I stuck it out..

        The blunt, stark mental impact of transitioning from Wile E. Coyote to Soul Train during a single commercial break were enough to keep me glued.

        The boogieing! The afros! The psychedelic chooch! It got Dad’s attention.

        Once that happened, it was either time for fishing shows or for me to be directed outside, where I could ride my bike around the neighborhood imagining I was a huge, space-traveling, purple locomotive.

  5. The dress the girl is wearing at :37 would be very stylish today. My wife would love it.

  6. It’s also interesting to note that Americans seemed, on average, to be thinner in 1971 than they are in 2010.

    1. I’m pretty sure there’s quite a bit of documentary evidence that could be used to make the case that Americans were, on average, thinner in 1971 than they are today.

      Somehow, though, I’m a bit dubious that videos of the Soul Train Dancers are really part of that body of evidence.

      I also wouldn’t take it as any sort of evidence of what the hip soul brothers and sisters were wearing back then, either.

      In 1971, the mainstream media’s attempts to Tune In To What’s Happenin’ Now Among The Youths were usually pretty lame and embarrassing; and really, those threads look like something straight out of the hip, groovy imagination of some 45-year old TV wardrobe designer.

      As documentary evidence of what was happenin’ in TVLand, it’s pretty eye-opening; but beyond that, not so much…

      1. I think you are giving the Soul Train producers too much credit. I’m pretty sure it was just like American Bandstand: the dancers wear their own clothes, and the production assistant says, “ok, you’re in”, etc. Of course a lot of the dancers were regulars (again, just like Bandstand) but I don’t know if they even got paid, let alone were costumed for the show.

  7. I’m kind of bemused we’re all assuming a televised broadcast of select people represents the American average. Does this mean we all look like the Jersey Shore crew now?

  8. In my youth, Soul Train came on at 5:30 or 6:00 in the morning. I was up early EVERY Saturday for my pre-cartoon fix. Oh the groovy, groovy seventies.

  9. My wife watches Soul Train off of OnDemand all the time. The main thing we talk about is how much older all of the performers were back then and it didn’t matter if you were ugly, fat or awkward just as long as you could sing.

    And I’m with the rest, Soul Train and ABS meant cartoons were over and that my dad didn’t want me in the house.

  10. Until now, I had never fully realized what made Curtis Mayfield so popular. I’d only heard his title track, “Superfly”.

    Now I know why- this is some of the funkiest stuff I’ve ever heard. Damn I wish I coulda been on Soul Train! Everything about that clip was funktastic.

  11. I want to know who these dancers are and what they’re doing now. It would make a fascinating documentary.

  12. Ha…I love the old footage, as I’m a huge fan of Soul Train! I came across this article about MadVision Ent. Group keeping the train rollin’ Long live the ST!

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