10/19/2013 2:00pm

Love, Peace, and Soul tells the story of the television phenomenon known as Soul Train, a show created in the land of bell bottoms, Afros, and soul power! Based on more than 100 interviews and containing fabulous photographs, the book is a celebratory, behind-the-scenes collection of andecdotes, stories, and reflections from and about the people who were there, including the show's super cool creator, the late Don Cornelius!









Be sure to join us at the Stax Museum Saturday, October 19th, 2-5 p.m. to meet award-winning author ERICKA BLOUNT DANOIS and have her autograph your book, along with former Stax Records owner Al Bell, who wrote the book's forward and will be signing books with her.




Love, Peace, and Soul

Behind the Scenes of America’s Favorite Dance Show Soul Train:

Classic Moments

By Ericka Blount Danois

Foreword by Al Bell, former chairman and owner of Stax Records


MONTCLAIR, NJ—Soul Train was a show created in the land of bell-bottoms, afros, and soul power; a show that became a touchstone of the Baby Boomer generation. It set the stage for dance shows like So You Think You Can Dance and variety shows like the Wayans’ In Living Color. The host and owner of the show, Don Cornelius, one of the coolest cats on television, created a showcase that made formerly no-name artists go platinum. It gave young activist Jesse Jackson a spotlight when he gave a weekly update on the progress of Operation Breadbasket. It provided a place to host beauty pageants with Hal Jackson’s Talented Teens, and it awarded scholarships to students. It was one of the first unapologetically black shows—behind the camera and in front of it.

Love, Peace, and Soul: Behind the Scenes of America’s Favorite Dance Show Soul Train: Classic Moments (Backbeat Books, Sept. 2013, $24.99) by Ericka Blount Danois tells the story of the television phenomenon Soul Train, from Cornelius’ humble beginnings with the local version of the show in Chicago, all the way to his shocking suicide in 2012. Music and television connoisseurs will enjoy the history of not just Soul Train, but of Shindig!, Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert, Hullabaloo, American Bandstand, and Graffiti Rock. Fans will delight in the lively images and quirky details that fill these pages, as well as a complete list of episodes. Author Ericka Blount Danois has this to say on her experience watching the show:


We watched Soul Train through the ’70s where regional dances and the golden years of soul, disco, and funk music were given a national platform. We watched as the alternately sexualized and conservative culture of the ’80s brought back boy bands, new jack swing, and a new culture dubbed hip-hop. And through the ’90s and the 2000s where the show struggled to maintain an identity while it mixed all of these genres together, resulting in a sometimes disjointed, but still entertaining product.


Love, Peace, and Soul is a celebratory, behind-the-scenes collection of anecdotes, stories, and reflections, from the people who were there, about the host, the show, and the power of black music and dance on television.


Ericka Blount Danois is an award-winning writer who writes about pop culture, music, sports, and television. She has written for the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, ESPN the Magazine, Sports Illustrated, JazzTimes, Spin, and Vibe magazine, among others. Her website is She lives in Baltimore, MD, and is available for interview.


Sept. 17, 2013               $24.99               Paperback        6” x 9”              272 pages         9781480341012

Two 8-page color inserts          

Backbeat Books, an imprint of Hal Leonard Performing Arts Publishing Group

Visit to watch the book trailer narrated by the author


Advance Praise for Love, Peace, and Soul


“In Love, Peace, and Soul, Ericka Blount Danois relives Soul Train’s real meaning and retrieves Cornelius’s true legacy with love, craft, and meticulous research.”


—Dan Charnas, author of The Big Payback: The History of the Business of Hip-Hop


“Don Cornelius was a champion of independent Black media and a real example of Black Power in the United States.  With her brilliant new book, Ericka Blount Danois takes us behind the stage of the show and into the inner workings of the man who helped change America with the simple phrase ‘Love, Peace and Soul’.”

                                    —Mark Anthony Neal, author of Looking for Leroy: Illegible Black Masculinities


“With deft reporting and flavorful insight, Love, Peace, and Soul is a "stone cold gas," as it goes down the Soul Train line, providing vivid context for one of the most important programs in the history of America television. Ericka Blount Danois is our travel guide as the book takes us on "the hippest trip in America," documenting the influence and impact of a truly iconic cultural landmark.”


—Dr. Todd Boyd, the Katherine & Frank Price Endowed Chair for the Study of Race and Popular Culture in the USC School of Cinematic Arts and author of

The Notorious Ph.D's Guide to the Super Fly 70s


“Today, when hiphop is central to youth culture around the world, it’s impossible to imagine a time when brilliant black music was confined to both literal and metaphorical ghettoes. Don Cornelius’s show “Soul Train” blasted opened those doors for African-American artists and for a broader African-American aesthetic that included fashion and dancing. With ground-breaking research and lucid writing, Ericka Blount Danois has given Cornelius and “Soul Train” the treatment they deserve—serious scholarship that is infectiously readable.”


 —Samuel G. Freedman, author of Breaking the Line: The Season in Black College Football that Transformed the Sport and Changed the Course on Civil Rights


“From the beginning of the post-civil rights seventies, the power of Soul Train refused to be contained by mere television screens. Inspiring, inspirational and important, the groundbreaking program became a cultural force in American households. Written in a style that is artistic as it was political, as rhythmic as it is revealing, Love, Peace, and Soul takes us behind the scenes of the iconic show. Through meticulous research and reporting, author Ericka Blount Danois has composed a textual journey through the golden era of Blackness and beyond.”


  —Michael A. Gonzales has written about soul culture for Wax Poetics, Vibe, and New York