Posts Tagged 'Herb Kent'

I’m so proud

Over 50 is where it’s at, man. This excerpt from a Chicago Sun Times review of the Soul Train concert I went to Monday night explains why:

Slightly-more-than-middle-aged women swooned to Marshall Thompson and the Chi-Lites’ “Oh Girl” and “Have You Seen Her,” no doubt knocked out by the trio’s sartorial splendor of pumpkin-colored suits and white fedoras with pumpkin-colored brims.

The Sun Times Reported that nearly 15,000 fans were at Millennium Park for the extravaganza, and man, what a cool vibe. All those people, and the only time it got unruly was when Don Cornelius refused to deal his signature “I wish you love, peace and soooooooooul!” (The crowd begged and prodded, and of course he finally gave in.)

Those are Janet's kids Anita (center), Ray (left) and AnnMarie (right) in a photo Anita took, reflected off the Cloud Gate (aka The Bean) sculpture in Millennium Park.

Plenty of youngsters (iow, under age 50) were there to dance to the music, too. My niece Janet and three of her kids picked me up for the first part of the celebration. “I’ve gotta show these kids how it’s done!” she told me. For 90 minutes before the concert, legendary Chicago DJ Herb Kent spun classic dusties like “Fire” and “Funky Town” by The Bean in Millennium Park and organized the longest Soul Train dance line in history. From the Sun Times review:

Cliff Boone was at the front of the line.

You couldn’t miss him. He wore a silk, lime green suit with white cuffs dotted with $100 bill icons. He danced in skyscraper heels and wore a wide-brimmed hat over a puffy afro wig. About the headgear, “all I will say about that is that it is ‘Bootsy’ or ‘Sly,’ ” said Boone, slightly out of breath after the dance. That would be Bootsy Collins and Sly Stone.

Janet and the kids had to leave before the concert – it was a school night, after all – so Mike joined

Some came in full regalia.

me to hear the Chi-Lites, the Impressions and the Emotions, each group backed up by a 30-piece orchestra with a horn section that was out of this world. It was chilly outside, but my heart felt warm, and the tingle I felt on my skin was not goosebumps. What a privilege to be a slightly-older-than-middle-aged woman living in the city where this music, these musicians, and this larger-than-life TV show got their start. As the late great Curtis Mayfield used to sing in that beautiful Impressions ballad of his: I’m so proud.

Just in time for Soul Train

My metatarsals are whole again--the body's an amazing thing.

Sound the trumpets! The doc says I can retire the clodhoppers!! No restrictions! I can walk long distances, swim, ride the tandem, even hop on the train to Elmhurst to visit Flo.

How to celebrate my healing? That’s easy. I’m gonna strap on my dancin’ shoes, strut down to Millennium Park and shake my groove thang:

Monday, September 5 (Labor Day) at 6:30 PM

Jay Pritzker Pavilion

Groove to the beat of Soul Train with a concert in honor of the 40th anniversary of the Chicago-based, longest-running, nationally syndicated program in television history. The concert will pay tribute to Soul Train and its legendary founder and host, Southside native Don Cornelius, who will be on hand to participate in the program. Artists scheduled to perform include Jerry “The Iceman” Butler, The Impressions, The Chi-Lites, The Emotions, and Gene Chandler. 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.

Pre-Concert Dance Party

4-5:30 PM

Cloud Gate

Hosted by Chicago radio pioneer, V103 Radio’s Herb Kent, known as the “King of the Dusties” and the “Cool Gent”, hit records from the 60s, 70s and 80s will be spun prior to Chicago’s 40th Anniversary Soul Train Concert at 6:30 PM. Admission to both the concert and the dance party is FREE.

Thanks to all of you for your blog comments, your encouragement and your good wishes during my healing process – I might have lost my mental health completely without you. I’m serious.

I’d write more now, but hey, I’ve spent a summer in front of this computer keyboard already. Time for Harper and me to practice our dance moves.

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January 2017
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