This Was Television On August 17

1970: The Soul Train starts a-rollin’

Chicago disc jockey Don Cornelius, who featured local talent in a series of travelling music shows, brought the concept to the airwaves on WCIU-TV, live on weekday afternoons. It caught on fast, and the following year Soul Train began a nationally syndicated run that lasted until 2006, with Cornelius at the helm until 1993.

At 35 years and over 1,100 episodes, Soul Train is the longest continuously airing syndicated program in TV history. Unfortunately, efforts to reboot the program in 2009 stalled when the Department of Transportation failed to approve a stimulus grant for a reconstituted Soul High Speed Rail.  -A.D.

Today’s Birthdays: Glenn Corbett, got his kicks on Route 66 (d. 1993); Julian Fellowes, master of the Abbey (63); Donnie Wahlberg, blue blood (43).

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