Aurora History Quiz: Ties to “Soul Train” (Answered)

Mar 21, 2020 | Activities, Featured

Congratulations to the first person to answer correctly! They’ve won a Vintage Aurora 2020 Calendar — A Heritage of Diversity

QUESTION:  The culture-changing music-and-dance television show “Soul Train” began in Chicago in the late 1960s.  Before it moved to LA in 1972, the live show was televised in front of a set designed and built by Aurorans, in Aurora.  Who were they?  Extra points if you can identify where they lived.

Answer: Bruce and Claire Newton, who lived in an 1894 Victorian house at the NE corner of West Park Avenue and Oak Avenue.   They were pioneers of the early days of television, and at the time worked together as producers for the UHF station WCIU.  When WCIU reporter and entertainment entrepreneur Don Cornelius brought his traveling sock hop to the station, the Newtons needed a set.  Bruce would cut and paint in their dining room until late in the evening, and Claire would get up at 2am, sometimes holding a baby, and finish his work.  Bruce would take the train in to Chicago in the morning so as not to be late, and Claire would load the finished panels into the family station wagon and drive in later.

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