Bring in the new year with The Hustle, Bus Stop and the Bump at the Indianapolis Recorder’s Soul Train New Year’s Eve Party, Dec. 31 at the Madame Walker Theatre Ballroom, 617 Indiana Ave.
Masterminded by Geno Shelton, Amp Harris and Thomas Griffin, the trio decided to not just throw a predictable ’70s and ’80s party, but to provide party-goers a fun and safe experience.
“If you ever watched old episodes of Soul Train, that’s when people used to dance – people used to party. There wasn’t any standing around or people grinding up against each other and all that other craziness,” said Shelton. “Everybody dressed up. No one came out looking like they came from a basketball gym. There’s a spirit about those times that’s beautiful. We want to bring that spirit back.”
For those who want to remain responsible and not drink and drive, a Soul Train Bus will be transporting celebrants to and from the Walker Theatre.
In true ’70s form, there will be a Soul Train Line dance contest giving prizes to the best afro, best old school individual outfit and best old school couple outfit. In addition, there will be a Soul Train hair and fashion show.
“A lot of times, these contests don’t turn out the way that I want, but I’ve always liked to entertain people. I don’t ask people to just come to a party and hear some records. People find me kind of funny, but I want it to be a complete night for everybody,” said Shelton.
One of the highlights of the evening will be a highly-anticipated appearance by former WTLC-FM (105.7) DJ Super Jay Johnson. Johnson is said to have made a considerable impact on the city of Indianapolis and the radio industry.
In addition to Johnson, other participating former WTLC DJs include Amp Harris, Rickie “Solid Gold” Clark and current WTLC DJs such as Tony Lamont and the First Lady.
The surprises don’t end there. Guests will see a special performance by Kenny Dodson.
Dodson, an Indianapolis native, has been singing and performing for more than 40 years. His career began at age 16 singing in clubs with his group “The Sensations.” Over time, his sound and style developed into one similar to Teddy Pendergrass and Marvin Gaye. Also known as “Mr. Motown,” Dodson has developed a large following over the years due to his versatile style, stage showmanship and flashy costumes.
“I just love music and to entertain people and make them feel good. And to be singing ’70s music, it’s just something about it. The message, the soulfulness – it seems as if the music was more meaningful back then.”
The Indianapolis Recorder’s Soul Train New Year’s Eve party begins at 8 p.m. and tickets are available at the Indiana Black Expo office, Sophisticuts hair salon and the Madame Walker box office for $29.99.
“I don’t want anybody to not go to watch night service at church because that is very important,” added Shelton. “This is the next best thing to going to church – this is going to be good, clean fun for those who want to go to a nice New Year’s Eve party,” added.”
For more information, call the Indianapolis Recorder at (317) 924-5143 or the Walker Theatre at (317) 236-2099.
You can e-mail comments to Jessica Williams-Gibson at Jessicaemail@example.com.