Soul Train Music Awards derailed
Fri Apr 18, 9:29 AM ET
LOS ANGELES (Reuters Life!) - It's the end of the line for the, which have largely been ignored by the African-American stars the event aims to honor. A spokeswoman said the show would not go ahead with its 22nd annual installment this year, but a reason was not specified.
At last year's event in, most of the winners did not show up, including such A-listers as , , and .
The show takes place a few weeks after the, the music industry's top awards. Similarly themed ceremonies like the BET Awards have also provided some competition.
Perhaps more critically, the underlying syndicated dance show "" ended its historic run in 2006. It was distributed by , which exited the syndication business when billionaire Sam Zell took its . parent private late last year in a highly leveraged deal.
The "Soul Train" TV show has served as an important promotional springboard for black music's biggest stars since launching in national syndication in 1971. It claimed to be the longest-running show airing in first-run syndication.
The franchise is the brainchild of Don Cornelius, an ambitiouswho decided in the late '60s that there was a need for a TV show featuring young black people dancing to recorded music. Few shared his view, and he self-funded a pilot in 1969. It aired on a the following year, and quickly became a hit.
Cornelius, famed for an expansive afro in his younger days, hosted the show for the first 22 years. But he has kept a low public profile and rarely consents to interviews. He tearfully accepted a Grammy Award for lifetime achievement in 2005.
(Reporting by Dean Goodman; Editing by Patricia Reaney)
What do I think? I think it's a shame when our own artists can't even support such a driving force in the music business. Honestly speaking, a Soul Train Award or a Lady of Soul Award held more power in the Black community than the BET Awards ever could hope to, yet stars are flocking to that mess. You win a BET Award for being all up and through BET, but a Soul Train Award meant that your record played on Black radio and you had a spot on the Soul Train weekly series. And yes, the Grammys hold a lot more clout in mainstream America, but surely, that is pretty much whitewashed. Our OWN artists can't even support those groundbreaking shows that WE created, WE funded, and WE hosted.
I've always been a fan of the Soul Train weekly series, and I always figured that when they showed more and more reruns that the show was doomed. For the last two seasons, they have shown "Best of" type shows, which I did enjoy for the nostalgia. That gave me the chance to see performances by Minnie Riperton, The Emotions, James Ingram, Marvin Gaye, etc. Granted, with the onset of competing shows, and declining interest, I would expect it to end...
However, the fact that mainstream America can pick up on the fact that OUR OWN stars can't attend our OWN events bothers me. I remember there being this furor with MTV/Soul Train a few years back, with MTV saying that if stars performed on the Soul Train Awards, or its sister award show, The Lady of Soul Awards, that they could not perform on the MTV Video Music Awards. What fresh hell is that? I remember there being a big stink about that, where the NAACP got involved and Alicia Keys, Destiny's Child and others boycotting the VMAs. Fast forward a few years and we don't even have a Soul Train Awards, a Lady of Soul Awards, a Christmas Starfest, or even the Soul Train weekly series??
Something is blatantly WRONG here...
Mark my words: Showtime At the Apollo is next...