Thursday, September 18, 2014

Saturtainment: Soul Unlimited (1973)

We've previously documented that there was a period in the 70's when American Bandstand was blacked out in my home district. The ABC affiliate at the time (now an NBC affiliate) opted for syndicated sports programming or other fare as a means of getting some extra local ad revenue.

What that meant in 1973, though, was that another Dick Clark entry would never be seen in upstate New York. Soul Unlimited was designed by Clark as his answer to Soul Train, which Don Cornelius took national two years earlier (the Train started as a regional show out of Chicago), perhaps feeling the ratings pinch in certain areas where the two iconic series would air head-to-head. Soul Unlimited would air on alternate weeks to give Clark a little time off the air, since he was also hosting The $10,000 Pyramid at the time.

Buster Jones was tapped as MC for the short-lived series, and because Soul Unlimited didn't air in my area, and perhaps several others, most of us would only become acquainted with Jones' voice 4 years later, as he signed on with Hanna-Barbera. His voice-over resume includes Super Friends (as Black Vulcan), Super Globetrotters, and, in the 80's, for Marvel-Hearst, Defenders of the Earth, and DIC's Real Ghostbusters.

Thus, the following clip is dedicated in Jones' memory, as he passed away recently at 71. Many thanks to fellow blogger Marc Tyler Nobleman for the tip. Marc has a short piece up at Noblemania.

Here's Buster, with the Sylvers.

Rest in peace, Buster. No rating for Soul Unlimited.

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