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‘Soul Train’ Pulls Into the Smithsonian

The National Museum of African American History and Culture has decided to collect items from Soul Train, the “hippest trip in America.”

The popular television show was responsible for breaking many artists and giving them the platform to perform and be heard for 37 years.

The Jackson 5, James Brown, The O’Jays, Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Ike & Tina Turner, Elton John, Alicia Keys and John Legend are just a few of the names that graced the Soul Train stage.

The show hosted by Don Cornelius also featured the “Soul Train Line” and the latest dance steps.

“From a scholarly point of view, this is one of those television shows that beamed African American cultural to the households of black and white America. It become of the early crossover shows. It dominated the black TV viewership of black teenagers. And then it impacted white households,” said Lonnie G. Bunch III, the founding director of the museum.

The five donations include the 10-foot-long neon “Train” sign, which was used from 1993 to 2006 and neon signs from the program’s music awards show.

The acquisitions will be formally announced June 30th at a special panel discussion and dance party at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival.

Check out a Soul Train Line and a Jackson 5 performance on Soul Train.