Inside D.C. entertainment

'Soul Train' items that should be in the Smithsonian's collection

June 21, 2011 - 03:00 PM
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The conductor of the Soul Train, Don Cornelius. (AP photo)

The Washington Post reported yesterday that the National Museum of African American History and Culture will soon receive some Soul Train memorabilia. The museum is getting five donations, including a neon sign that was used on the syndicated music show from 1993 to 2006.

The acquisition will be formally announced June 30, Jacqueline Trescott reported, at a special panel discussion and dance party during the Smithsonian Folklife Festival. The people at the African-American History Museum and folks behind Soul Train definitely know from precious cultural artifacts, but here are a few humble suggestions for Soul Train items that would bring people out to the museum in droves.

1) The Soul Train scramble board

This is very necessary.

2) A lock of Cheryl Song's hair

Who is Cheryl Song, you ask? What if I told you she's "the Asian lady with the long hair from Soul Train"--would that ring a bell? A couple of years ago, Soul Bounce found Song working as an executive assistant at the Transportation and Safety Association in Los Angeles. And yes, her hair is significantly shorter than it was when she was a Soul Train dancer.

3) A copy of the 1975 LP Don Cornelius presents the Soul Train Gang, the first full-length album from the show host's Soul Train Records (later SOLAR) label.

4) A timeless polka-dot tie

5) A swatch from the orange-red flooring that held the earliest Soul Train lines.

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