Chuck Johnson, owner of Soul Beat.

Soul Beat (1978–2003) was a black-owned public access television station, founded and run by Chuck Johnson. Soul Beat was popular because it would show music videos, mostly African-American artists, especially many local music artists. Soul Beat also showed many local business commercials, especially African-American-owned businesses.

Johnson moved to Oakland in 1977 and started Soul Beat in 1978. Soul Beat Television was the very first music video network in the country, and broke all the major Oaktown artists, including Digital Underground, MC Hammer, and Too Short before they went mainstream. During Soul Beat’s heyday in the 80s through the mid-90s the Soul Beat Television Network was on KEMO Channel 20 in Oakland. Soul Beat later operated from Detroit's WGPR-TV and St. Kitts in the Caribbean. 1

Journalist Chauncey Bailey served as the news director for Soul Beat. 2


Jonesin' on Soul Beat featuring Billy E. Jones:

Some commercials, including the classic "Beeper Man" and "Electron X":

Links and References

  1. Soul Beat Owner Chuck Johnson dies Oakland Tribune July 28, 2004 by Chauncey Bailey
  2. Oaklanders calling for return of Soul Beat San Francisco Chronicle December 4, 2003