Two years before Don Cornelius went to that dance floor in the sky, VH1 aired Soul Train: The Hippest Trip in America, a documentary on the syndicated dance-music show's near – 30-year evolution, from its pre-Hollywood roots as the “black American Bandstand” in Chicago in 1971 to cultural phenomenon. It featured interviews with artists (Aretha Franklin, Patti LaBelle, Smokey Robinson, Snoop Dogg, The Roots' Questlove) and cultural critics, including author-filmmaker Nelson George. Last year, Questlove released Soul Train: The Music, Dance and Style of a Generation. Now George has written his own tome, The Hippest Trip in America: Soul Train and the Evolution of Culture & Style, which includes more interviews with performers, dancers and the baritoned conductor himself, Cornelius, before his suicide in 2012. Soul Train made stars of many of its dancers – Rosie Perez, Jody Watley, Fred “Rerun” Berry and Jeffrey Daniel, the man who taught Michael Jackson the moonwalk. Tonight, George sits down with another former dancer, Marco de Santiago, who was on the show from 1977 to 1992, to reminisce down the Soul Train line. George also signs his book at Eso Won Books on April 3. Book Soup, 8818 Sunset Blvd., W. Hlywd.; Wed., April 2, 7 p.m.; free, book is $27.99. (310) 659-3110, booksoup.com.
Wed., April 2, 7 p.m., 2014
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