Edited by Azizi Powell
This post showcases "fly" clothing, shoes, and hair fashions worn by dancers featured in a 1970s episode of the Soul Train television series.
The African American Vernacular English word "fly" means "cool", "hip", "stylish" ("the latest urban African American street fashions for teens and young adults). "Fly girl" was a common usage in the 1970s among African Americans, but not "fly boy" because Black people didn't call Black men "boys".
The content of this post is presented for cultural, entertainment, and aesthetic purposes.
All copyrights remain with their owners.
Thanks to all those who are featured in these videos. Thanks also to all those who are quoted in this post and thanks to the publishers of this video on YouTube.
INFORMATION ABOUT THE SOUL TRAIN TV SERIES
"Soul Train was an American musical variety television program which aired in syndication from 1971 until 2006. In its 35-year history, the show primarily featured performances by R&B, soul, and hip hop artists, although funk, jazz, disco, and gospel artists also appeared. The series was created by Don Cornelius, who also served as its first host and executive producer...
Within the structure of the program, there were two enduring elements. The first was the "Soul Train Scramble Board", where two dancers are given 60 seconds to unscramble a set of letters that form the name of that show's performer or a notable person in African American history...
There was also the popular "Soul Train Line", in which all the dancers form two lines with a space in the middle for dancers to strut down and dance in consecutive order. Originally, this consisted of a couple—with men on one side and women on the other. In later years, men and women had their own individual lineups. Sometimes, new dance styles or moves were featured or introduced by particular dancers. In addition, there was an in-studio group of dancers who danced along to the music as it was being performed. Rosie Perez, Damita Jo Freeman, Darnell Williams, Alise Mekhail, Carmen Electra, Nick Cannon, MC Hammer, Jermaine Stewart, Heather Hunter, Fred "Rerun" Berry, Laurieann Gibson, Pebbles, and NFL legend Walter Payton were among those who got noticed dancing on the program over the years. Two former dancers, Jody Watley and Jeffrey Daniel, enjoyed years of success as members of the R&B group Shalamar after they were chosen by Soul Train talent booker/record promoter Dick Griffey and Cornelius to replace the group's original session singers in 1978."...
SHOWCASE EXAMPLE: My Favorite Soul Train Line Dance featuring Ballero by War
George John, Uploaded on Jan 13, 2012
This [1970s] video makes me so very happy. Patricia Davis @ 2:19 kills me....I have watched a million times and I am practicing, so watch out.
SELECTED COMMENTS FROM THIS VIDEO'S DISCUSSION THREAD
Most of these comments refer to the clothing, shoes, and hair fashions worn by the Soul Train dancers in this 1970s video. Other comments refer to the dance moves. These are only a sample of the comments in that discussion thread on these subjects. They reflect both a nostalgia for the 1970s and a renewed interest in 1970s fashions which are now considered "vintage" styles.
These comments are presented in relative chronological order with the oldest comments given first, except for replies. However, these comments may not be in consecutive order. I've assigned numbers to these comments for referencing purposes only.
"The line dance was always my favorite part of the show-both for the moves and the fashions!"
2. Nagore Gonzalez
"afro" (also known as 'fro, and "a natural") = hair styles [usually for people of Black African descent] in which the tightly curled, frizzy, nappy hair is worn un-straightened (not permed). In the 1970s the preference was to wear very big afros that were usually shaped in a bush or halo style around the face.
Nowadays, the style is to wear the natural hair in large, freer, less styled or less groomed fashions.
"Platform shoes for boys and girls! Double-knit polyester,afros (hardly a "process" in the whole line) and killer dance moves. Style...I'm talking about STYLE!"
"process" - hair style for males of Black African descent in which the natural hair is chemically straightened
"the fashoin is soooo flyyyyyy"
5. J Condors
"This just became - My Favorite Soul Train Line Dance,, ,Love it, the styles, the moves & how they make those moves with those platforms....Got love it"
6. Barbara Codner
"I see some outfits that I would wear now!! Damn, my people looked sharp!!"
"I love the guy at 1:35! The moves, the outfit, the hair. Totally hot."
"LOL! EVERYBODY has on high heels/platforms, even the guys. And yes, they are serious about it! LOL"
"platforms" = platform shoes, shoes with a high wedge heel
"Suited and Booted!"
"MEGA BOW TIE @1:36"
11. David Delevski
"Bow ties were so in that season"
12. Cori Robinson
"Yooooo!!!! This is Soul Train in it's golden era. So many Soul Train stars in this one line. LIke young Jeffrey Daniel and cool azz Tyrone Proctor. And sis with that yellow suit on at 2:54, I'd rock that suit today. WeeeerK! Yes, this is a fly Soul Train clip!!!"
"I could watch these videos all day long. There is so much pleasure in watching old dances & the different styles of hair & clothing."
14. Mssassy Sabrina
"Thanks for this upload!!! Makes me smile. So many different dances, so many different styles. I just love it!"
15. Barbara Codner
"I want that suit she has on at 2:50!!"
17. Christina Saccente
"love it, everyone had THEIR OWN style"
18. Tyler Sandersfeld
"I need a sharp grey suit like the guy at 1:02 or the lady at 2:21. Too fly!"
"They all have such long legs."
20. RENEE WHITE
"@ Tati..that was the bell bottoms and high waist slacks...looked like your legs were a mile long.."
21. Mike Vino
"The best male dance here is the guy in red shirt and black pants at 2:03.
If you closely at the female line, the best woman dancer (wearing a gray suit) who is also watching the dude shouts "That's HOT" at 2:13"
22. Vincent Williams
"My GOD, can those people cut the rug. Love Love Love this. Thanks for the post George."
"cut the rug" ("cut a rug') = dance [dance really well; dance up a storm)
"Look at all the queens workin itz!!!"
"queens" = Black women
"workin it" = [in this context] dancing very well
24. Strick Strickland
"The Dance! That was the thing. I notice the fashion has also come back in style today. The platformed shoes are the heels of today."
"I admit that we indeed missed out on the clean fun, but not the afro hairstyle. In which I now rock lol."
"I love that these women are dressed like they came from the office. Gloria: Are you coming to happy hour after work? Deb: Nah girl, I'm taking a trip on the Sooooooooooul Train."
"I love the 'fros on some of these people. Never did quite get mine to the 8" height (like the guy @0:51 for example), but I came close. All of this was just a little before my time. Kudos to people like Erika Badu and Esperanza Spalding for keeping the fro alive. My son grew a 4-5" fro when he was about 13. He said that the other kids were always wanting to touch it and see what it felt like."
28. Thomas Mahaney
"to hell with the gym i need to get me some platform shoes, high-wasted bell-bottoms and a FIERCE polyester shirt: and go dancing !!! ! i think i will just play this and dance all morning!!!"
"1:18...those orange pants are fly 0_0"
"top 10 soul train lines in the history of the show"
31. Kimberly Stuver-Klaassen
"You're right. I think that this may be the best ST line dance, but not quite as joyful as "You Should Be Dancing." ST line dancing vids instantly cheer me up!"
"People dressed so hot on Soul Train especially the women on the show during the 70s and 80s."
33. Suzanne Edwards
"How good it was to see that everyone was well dressed and so tastefully done."
"Gotta get me some bell bottoms."
"bell bottoms" (flares) = a style of trousers (pants) [for males and females] that become wider from the knees downward, forming a bell-like shape of the trouser https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bell-bottoms
35. Nigel Perren
"Dem sister's is lookin fly! From their afros to their ultra perm! Sh&t*!!!they is gettin dow!!! New type thang!!!! OooOoOOOOOH-eeeeeeeeEEEEE!!!! YEAH! !!!!!!"
*That word is fully spelled out in the comment.
"sisters" = Black females
36. street parade
"0:34...white bell-bottom pants, silk halter and platforms. Classic look....just perfect!!"
"halter" = halter top, a cropped top (blouse) worn by females
37. Lacy Sims
"I so want a pair of pants like the girl is wearing at 1:24, I love them!!!!!"
"I need that yellow satin pants suit in my life"
39. Maureen Wagg
"Miss Fab at 3:01 …who doesn't love that pink maxi skirt and crop top. I wish I could wear something like that. She looks amazing."
40. Maureen Wagg
"My favourite palazzo pants!!! They are so comfortable and classy looking. This show is still so much fun to watch. Hell yea great times. I miss those times. Now we have Miley and twerking. I hate that."
"So RE-WATCHABLE !
Lovin' the satin flares !
Bring back the 'fro !!!"
"Love the men's clothes.. Men were free back in those days. They wore more adventurous clothing. Nowadays it Blah and saggy draws. No inbetween, you are either Cell phone sales man bland, or you are thug sloppy."
"Ah man, i wish I could time travel back to the 70s and see how fun it really is. I mean, I'm a 2000 baby and I wear my hair in a afro like they used to back then"
44. C White
"1:20 where can I get those orange flare pants?"
45. "It's been said that the guy at 1:21 and 2:04 was a young 'Shabba Doo' aka Adolfo Quiñones from the Breakin' movies (1984), Chaka Khan (Feel For You) and Lionel Richie (All Night Long) music videos. If so - was he wearing a fake Afro wig?"
46. tee L.
"+SrTuco My aunt, half black & half brown, has straight hair. She did wear afro wigs back in the day. His may be a wig, too."
47. skylan Natural
"I love that women's orange maxi skirt timeless."
48. Franz Kafka
"Here we witness the direct modern ancestor to the Cakewalk. The bow tie at 1:36 !!! Don Cornelius was a genius, an ex U.S. Marine and Chicago cop too btw. God how I wish time travel existed."
49. Sydnee Island
"Clothes were so much better back then."
50. Plaza Queen
"those outfits are worth their weight in gold and then some!!!!! Stylish as the day is long."
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