‘Soul Train’ on track for DVD release

Jackson footage included in Time-Life deal

Soul Train,” which charted the soul, R&B and hip-hop genres for more than 35 years on TV, is headed to DVD, bringing with it decades of perfs by Michael Jackson and other iconic acts.

Soul Train” DVDs will be released under the Time Life label, and series clips will be licensed for other outside uses. Direct Holdings Americas, parent company of the Time Life brand, has acquired DVD distrib rights to the entire “Soul Train” catalog. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Much of the material, which also includes concerts by Al Green, Aretha Franklin and the Temptations, is being made available for licensing and DVD for the first time.

The deal, which was in the works before Jackson’s death on June 25, takes on greater significance as demand skyrockets for material related to the King of Pop.

While there are no specific “Soul Train” DVD titles planned, the company has a slew of Jackson footage it can piece together for releases, including live perfs of “I Want You Back,” “Dancing Machine” and “Don’t Say Goodbye Again” from his days in the Jackson 5 and “Whatever You Got I Want,” “What You Don’t Know Won’t Hurt You” and “If I Don’t Love You This Way” from his days as an emerging solo act.

There is also extensive footage of Jackson accepting various Soul Train Music Awards through the 1990s as well as Jackson’s induction into the Soul Train Hall of Fame, capped by a perf of “Dangerous.”

(Susanne Ault writes for Daily Variety sister publication Video Business.)

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