Soul Train Afternoon Dance Party to Kick Off 40th Anniversary Concert

Labor Day— Monday, September 5, 2011 Dance Party with Herb Kent at 4 p.m. at Cloud Gate.; Concert to Follow at 6:30 p.m.

Start your Soul Train Labor Day festivities even earlier with an afternoon Pre-Concert Dance Party on Millennium Park’s Chase Promenade at Cloud Gate on Monday, September 5, 2011 from 4:00 to 5:30 p.m., hosted by Chicago radio pioneer, V103 Radio’s Herb Kent.  Kent, known as the King of the Dusties and the Cool Gent, will spin hit records from the 60s, 70s and 80s prior to Chicago’s 40th Anniversary Soul Train Concert at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion at 6:30 p.m. Admission to both the concert and the dance party is free.

The concert in the Pritzker Pavilion will pay tribute to Soul Train, the Chicago-based, longest-running, nationally syndicated program in television history, and its legendary founder and host, Southside native Don Cornelius, by bringing together a number of artists who appeared in the earliest series of Soul Train shows that aired in mid-August, 1970.

It will include performances by Jerry Butler, the original lead singer of the vocal group, The Impressions and known as The Iceman in his solo career which includes hits like Only the Strong Survive, Make it Easy On Yourself and Moon River; The Impressions, known for their 1960s string of hits influenced by Gospel music that served as inspirational anthems for the Civil Rights movement; The Chi-Lites, the Chicago-based smooth soul vocal quartet from the 1970s with top songs including Have You Seen Her? and Oh Girl; The Emotions, Chicago’s all-female, R&B trio, best known for the song Best of My Loveand Gene Chandler, the “Duke of Earl.”

They will be backed by a full orchestra of veteran musicians who have played and/or recorded with the artists listed above and will be led by conductor/arranger Tom Tom Washington.  The band includes: Tyrone Hines, Mark Colby, Gene “Daddy G” Barge, Willie Henderson, Burgess Gardner, Mike McGrath, Kenny Anderson, Steve Berry, Big Willie Woods, Mike Logan, Keith Henderson, Ron Hall, Malcolm Banks, Tony Carpenter, Phyllis Sanders, Melanie Clevert-Serapa, Todd Matthews, David Katz, Carmen Kassinger, Elizabeth Brausa, Renee Baker, Carl Johnston, William Porter, Mark Anderson, Teresa Davis, Diane Madison, Kathleen Chapek and Diana Simon.

Chicago’s 40th Anniversary Soul Train Concert will be hosted by Richard Steele, the award-winning host and correspondent for WBEZ Chicago Public Media, along with V103’s Herb Kent.  Mr. Cornelius will be on hand to participate in the program.

Chicago’s 40th Anniversary Soul Train Concert is presented by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, in partnership with the Chicago Office of Tourism and Culture in honor of the 40th anniversary of the long-running television program. The concert is made possible, in part, through Amtrak in commemoration of its 40th Anniversary. “Like Soul Train, Amtrak is celebrating its 40th anniversary and we are excited to be a part of the event,” said Tracy Robinson, Marketing Director, East Region, Amtrak.

The Labor Day events in Millennium Park cap a weekend of programs in Chicago honoring the long-running television program, which includes:

Soul Train Photo Exhibition

Open daily through September 5 (Labor Day)
Expo 72, 72 E. Randolph Street
Final Weekend Hours: Friday 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Sunday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Monday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Don’t miss the final days of the first-ever Soul Train Photo Exhibition with images capturing some of the iconic musicians who performed on the show including Chaka Khan, Stevie Wonder, Sly Stone, Chuck Berry and more. Images were selected from more than 300,000 never-before-seen archival shots taken on the Soul Train set.

Friday Night Groove with Chic-A-Go-Go

Friday, September 2, 6 – 8 p.m.
Expo 72, 72 E. Randolph Street

Everyone can dance and relive the days of the Soul Train when Chic-a-Go-Go tapes their all-ages television show at Expo 72’s Soul Train Photo Exhibition.  Attendees will feel as if they have stepped onto the Soul Train set, dancing to Soul Train beats under disco balls amongst a retrospective of photographs. Drawing from legendary dance programs like Soul Train and American Bandstand, as well as Chicago’s own 1960s shows Kiddie-A-Go-Go and Red Hot and Blue, Chic-a-Go-Go combines classic TV entertainment with an original, whimsical style. The evening features DJ Bob Abrahamian of 88.5 WHPK’s Sitting in the Park on the turntable and Chic-a-Go-Go hosts Miss Mia Park and Ratso.

Film Screening: “Soul Train: The Hippest Trip in America” with Don Cornelius

Sunday, September 4, 2 p.m.
Gene Siskel Film Center of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, 164 N. State Street
$11/general admission; $7/students (with current I.D.); $6/Film Center members

Immediately following the screening, WBEZ Chicago Public Media’s Richard Steele will moderate question and answer session with Soul Train founder, Don Cornelius, and current CEO of Soul Train Holdings and Chicago native, Kenard Gibbs.

For more information about Chicago’s 40th Anniversary Soul Train Concert and all of the Soul Train activities, visit, call 312.742.1168, visit Millennium Park on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @Millennium_Park.

Millennium Park
Millennium Park is located in the heart of downtown Chicago. It is bordered by Michigan Ave. to the west, Columbus Dr. to the east, Randolph St. to the north and Monroe St. to the south. Convenient parking is located in the Millennium Park Garage (entrance on Columbus at Monroe or Randolph) and at the Grant Park North and East Monroe Garages, all located within a short walking distance of Millennium Park.

Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events
The Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE), in partnership with the Chicago Office of Tourism and Culture, presents thousands of high-quality free festivals, exhibitions, performances and holiday celebrations in venues throughout the city each year. DCASE is dedicated to promoting an ongoing celebration of the arts in Chicago, supporting the people who create and sustain them, and marketing the city’s abundant cultural resources to a worldwide audience.

Chicago Office of Tourism and Culture
The Chicago Office of Tourism and Culture (COTC) is dedicated to promoting Chicago as a premier cultural destination to domestic and international leisure travelers, providing innovative visitor programs and services, and presenting free world-class public programs. COTC supports local artists through grants and other resources and creates vital opportunities for artists of all levels. For more information please visit

Celebrating 40 years of dedicated service as America’s Railroad, Amtrak is the nation’s intercity passenger rail provider and its only high-speed rail operator. Amtrak operates trains in partnership with 15 states and four commuter rail agencies.  Enjoy the journey at or call 800-USA-RAIL for schedules, fares and more information.

Soul Train Holdings
Soul Train is a registered trademark of Soul Train Holdings, LLC a limited liability company headquartered in Los Angeles, CA. Soul Train is the longest running, first-run, nationally syndicated program in television history. During its 37 year run, the show featured such staples as the Soul Train line and performers as important and diverse as Al Green, Ike & Tina Turner, Marvin Gaye, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Elton John, Whitney Houston, David Bowie, Janet Jackson and Beyoncé, to name a few. Soul Train Holdings was created following the acquisition of the iconic franchise and catalog of more than 1,100 hours of archival footage from Don Cornelius Productions in June 2008 by InterMedia Partners and Madision Entertainment and is part of Vibe Holdings LLC. Vibe Holdings is a leading multi-cultural media company consisting of treasured and celebrated brands including Vibe magazine,, Uptown magazine and Soul Train. Vibe Holdings is owned by InterMedia Partners, Magic Johnson Enterprises and Ron Burkle’s Yucaipa Companies.

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