"Soul Train" comes alive again in Fayetteville Saturday, next Thursday

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Northwest Arkansas Events Unlimited has assembled a stellar lineup in support of the organization's annual Black Music Month celebration this weekend and next week, including a tribute concert, travelling photo exhibition, documentary screening, and a lively street dance on the Fayetteville square.

Now in its fourth year, Black Music Month Celebration has quickly become a highly anticipated tradition in Northwest Arkansas.

Events in previous years have included appearances by music industry veterans such as recording artist Lloyd Price and retired Stax and Motown record executive Al Bell.

This year, the celebration will pay homage to syndicated television program, "Soul Train," which aired for more than 35 years and was created, produced and hosted by the late Chicago native Don Cornelius. The popular dance music party show currently holds the distinction of being the longest-running, first-run, nationally syndicated program in television history.

George's Majestic Lounge on Dickson Street in Fayetteville is the site of the official kickoff to Black Music Month 2012 as Smoothman Music Productions presents a Stax/ Motown Tribute Concert courtesy of local band, Soulful Sounds & Friends, featuring some of the area's hottest vocalists including Broderick Daniels, Ocie Fisher, Emily Cole, and Dennis Toliver on Saturday, May 26, at 9:30 p.m.

The set list includes hits made popular by recording artists signed to Memphis' Stax Records and Detroit's Hitsville USA during the early days of rhythm and blues including Otis Redding, Rufus Thomas, The Supremes, and The Jackson 5. Tickets will be sold at the door for $8.

The traditional First Thursday Fayetteville event will incorporate a slightly different look and appeal on June 7, as the heart of downtown Fayetteville will have a lively dance party scene complete with a live disk jockey, face painting, and an attempt to create the largest Soul Train line in Arkansas history.

An opening reception for a special Soul Train photo exhibition at the University of Arkansas' Global Campus will commence at 5 p.m. on Thursday, June 7. The display will be open to the public throughout the month of June, and features a collection of more than 50 still photographs of iconic musicians including Stevie Wonder, Chaka Khan, Sly Stone and Chuck Berry.

Also in conjunction with the street dance, the University of Arkansas' Center for Multicultural Education and Diversity will host a screening of the VH1 documentary, "Soul Train: The Hippest Trip in America," at 6 p.m., in the auditorium of the Global Campus Building. A brief panel discussion will be held immediately thereafter.

The festivities will be capped with a special Soul Train Street Dance on the Fayetteville square, as DJ Mike Chase of Extreme Dance Machines will serenade the crowd with a special mobile booth. The day is also noteworthy in the fact it is the birthday of Grammy Award winning singer and songwriter, Prince.

A special birthday celebration fit for royalty will begin at 7:30 p.m., and a very special guest will help Prince fans to celebrate the legendary artist known for his massive catalog of block party worthy songs like "Little Red Corvette," "Let's Go Crazy," and "Purple Rain."

The Black Music Month Celebration 2012 lineup at Fayetteville's First Thursday includes the following:

* 5 p.m. -- Soul Train Photo Exhibition

* 5:30 p.m. -- Face Painting by School of Rock

* 6:00 p.m. -- Soul Train Documentary Screening

* 7:00 p.m. -- Celebrity Birthday Celebration

* 7:30 p.m. -- Afrique Aya Dance Troupe

* 8:00 p.m. -- Soul Train Street Dance