Fans of "Soul Train" boogied down Broadway wearing afro wigs and bell bottoms on Saturday while others recounted their favorite episodes at a Harlem meeting hall in tribute to the show's late creator, Don Cornelius.
About 100 dancers descended on Times Square in a "flash mob" organized through the Internet. As startled tourists looked on, they recreated one of the show's "Soul Train lines" in which people would take turns dancing toward a TV camera while showing off their most outrageous moves.
"Don Cornelius was a big influence in my life, and I just wanted to pay tribute," said disc jockey Jon Quick, as he held up a speaker blasting disco grooves. "He was playing the music that nobody else wanted to play. He was an amazing man."
Cornelius, 75, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound on Wednesday. He had suffered from health problems, a difficult divorce, and had pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor spousal battery charge in 2009.
But on Saturday fans praised Cornelius' vision in creating, hosting and selling "Soul Train" to television stations that were originally skeptical about programming aimed at blacks. The show aired from 1971 to 2006.
"Don Cornelius brought soul to the whole world," said Ramona Hamm, 37, who came to Times Square with her 9-year-old daughter, Kayla Charles. The dancers bounced down Broadway for about 45 minutes until police told the party to disperse.
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