The Washington Post

‘Soul Train’ line lives on after Don Cornelius

The world may have lost Don Cornelius on Wednesday and new episodes of ‘Soul Train’ years ago, but it’ll never lose the Soul Train line.

Cornelius with Aretha Franklin. (Getty Images) ((Getty Images)/GETTY IMAGES)

Because of Soul Train’s roots in Chicago, residents of the city have been honoring ‘the hippest train in America’ as best they can. In Chicago, fans formed an outdoor dance line in honor of Cornelius.

Not to be upstaged by the original however, the man himself teaches us how its done from back in the day to J.B.’s “Doing It To Death.”

As one of the original members of the Soul Train Gang, Patricia Davis knows a thing or two about dancing. She was a fashion and dance icon earning the nickname the ‘Madame Butterfly,’ regularly making media appearances and was voted ‘Soul Train’s Original All Time Diva’ at the first annual Soul Train gang reunion.

Here is an excerpt of an her interview with

Soul Train: What were your impressions when you first went on the set of Soul Train?

Patricia Davis: People really dressed their best. Afros, suits, hot pants, everyone moving to the music. We all had fun. There was competition, but it was all in fun. During breaks, we told jokes and laughed and would practice dance routines.

Soul Train: Speaking of competition, you and another popular Soul Train dancer, Damita Jo Freeman, were in a Soul Train dance contest in which the Godfather of Soul James Brown was a judge and Damita won. What was your reaction to that?

Patricia Davis: I wasn’t angry. No one was angry. It was friendly competition. People was pulling for Damita and she deserved to win.

Soul Train: What are your early memories of Don Cornelius?

Patricia Davis: Don would be dressed in all of these leather outfits. Me and the other dancers thought he was the hottest thing alive.We were all impressed with him. He had all of his clothes made. We all would wonder what he was going to wear to each taping.

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