Friday, July 19, 2013

Soul Alive!

Soul Alive Soul Alive starring WWRL radio DJ  Gerry "Golden Voice" Bledsoe aired during 1978 in New York City for an hour on WPIX channel 11 Saturday mornings at 11:00am.

A staple of TV markets around the country in the 1960s, local dance shows fell out of favor at the end of the 1960s and we aren't likely to see a revival. (Then again, you never know. Similar in nature, nationally broadcast Dance Party USA was a hit in the 1980s.)

With the Disco craze in full swing and nationally syndicated Soul Train a hot commodity on Saturdays afternoons, WPIX saw an opportunity to bring that stone cold dead format back to TV screens.

The main feature on Soul Alive was the heated competition between dancers representing some of the City's top discotheques or local high schools. The winning couple's names were delivered via the 'Mechanical Hand' - they could collect a bounty of prizes including a trip, new sound system or they might end up with a package that included Bic disposable shavers. They were new then!

Big name guest stars frequented the program, after all, this was the number one TV market in the world and a lot of record albums were sold in the city of New York. A LOT! On this episode, Cissy Houston lip-synced her latest single while the Rolling Stones appeared in a video.

One unintentionally hilarious segment had the dancers revealing their working life in pictures that were mixed into their solo spots. Similarly, when schools competed, a profile of the student body was aired.

Click for more Soul Alive stories and ultra-rare video! You're gonna love it...