29 Black Music Milestones: Soul Train Launches

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CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 05: Soul Train creator Don Cornelius poses at Millennium Park on September 5, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Paul Natkin/WireImage)

Soul Train was a national music show that aired in syndication from October 1971 to March 2006. In its 35-year history, Soul Train primarily featured performances by R&B, soul and hip-hop acts, as well as jazz, funk, disco and gospel artists.

During later seasons, the show's opening sequence made the claim that it was the "longest-running, first-run, nationally-syndicated program in television history." With its years on air, "Soul Train" will continue to hold the honor of the longest, continuously-running first-run syndicated program until at least 2016, if and when its nearest competitor, "Entertainment Tonight," completes its 35th season. If not, "Wheel of Fortune" would pass in 2017 if it continues to air.

"Soul Train" was created by Don Cornelius, who also served as the show's first host and executive producer. Unfortunately, Don Cornelius died on Feb. 1 from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Photos: Don Cornelius Through the Years

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