By Jill Munroe
The new BET series “AMERICAN SOUL” is Inspired by the behind the scenes story of Soul Train. The scripted drama blends fictional and real-life characters and moments from the early 70’s. We follow Don Cornelius as he manifests the dream of building the first nationally-syndicated Black music show to reality.
Standing in his way are battles with record labels for top talent, off-camera drama with young dancers competing for the spotlight and personal sacrifices. Coupled with this is the backdrop of a racially charged Los Angeles.
EURweb correspondent Jill Munroe hit the red carpet to talked to series stars Sinqua Walls, Kelly Price and Jason Dirden plus “Five Heartbeats” creator and “American Soul” director Robert Townsend about their favorite Soul Train memories and details about the series.
Sinqua Walls on playing cultural icon Don Cornelius and the love he gets on social media for his portrayal as “Shawn” on POWER:
“A blessing, my goal as an actor is to always do characters that people remember. To find things and moments people resonate with… to have played Shawn and stepping into playing Don Cornelius is a blessing.”
“The Black experience was you got up on Saturday morning, you had your chores, most of us had to pull our clothes out for church on Sunday morning, you got your hair washed and pressed. Sometimes rolled, and then there’s Soul Train. You’re supposed to be cleaning up, but everything stopped when Soul Train came on.”
Guest stars include Kelly Rowland as Gladys Knight; singer and actress Michelle Williams as the legendary Diana Ross; Bobby Brown plays the over-the-top Rufus Thomas; following up her role as Whitney Houston in “The Bobby Brown Story”, Gabrielle Dennis portrays Tina Turner; “Hit the Floor’s” McKinley Freeman plays Ike Turner; and singer K. Michelle plays Martha Reeves.