Even as we mourn the tragic death of Don Cornelius, a new generation is discovering his remarkable musical legacy. Known as the “hippest trip in America,” Soul Train was a Saturday morning TV institution that quite literally changed American culture. As former Keith Sweat manager Vincent Davis puts it, “Soul Train showed us how to dance, how to dress and how to be cool."

For folks coming of age before BET, MTV or the Internet, Soul Train was one of the only ways to watch our favorite artists do their thing. Be it the balladry of Marvin Gaye, the Sugarhill Gang's early hip-hop, or the uncut funk of James Brown, the show gave its loyal audience access to a galaxy of stars they never would have seen otherwise.

The dancers were amazing, Don's deep-voiced interviews were like nothing else on TV, but at the end of the day, Soul Train was all about the music. With that in mind, we decided to count down Soul Train's ten most classic performances.

Written by Michael A. Gonzales (@gonzomike)

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