Who would forget that deep, sexy, gracious and sophisticated voice of the host and producer of one of my all time favorite show “Soul Train”, Don Cornelius?
I just learned that he was found dead at his home in Los Angeles early Wednesday in what has been concluded as a suicide. Don Cornelius was 75.
I am saddened that Mr. Cornelius left this world in such an unpleasant way for a man of his accomplishment. While “Soul Train” was one of the longest running syndicated show that run since 1970s, if you are a music lover, there is no way you can think of “Soul Train” without thinking about Don Cornelius. As a host and producer of “Soul Train”, Mr. Cornelius was indeed a legend in the music industry playing a critical role helping spread music produced by black America into the world stage when watching black people on TeeVee was scares.
“ ‘Soul Train’ created an outlet for black artists that never would have been if it hadn’t been for Cornelius,” said Kenny Gamble, who with his partner, Leon Huff, created the Philly soul sound and wrote the theme song for the show. “It was a tremendous export from America to the world, that showed African-American life and the joy of music and dance, and it brought people together.”
[…]Mr. Cornelius, a former disc jockey, created “Soul Train” in 1970 for the Chicago television station WCIU and served as its writer, producer and host. When it became a local sensation, he moved the show to Los Angeles and began broadcasting nationally in 1971, beginning a 35-year run in syndication.
[…]Born on Chicago’s South Side on Sept. 27, 1936, Mr. Cornelius had an early craving to go into broadcasting. He graduated from DuSable High School in 1954, did a stint in the Marine Corps and then returned to Chicago to marry a childhood sweetheart, Delores Harrison. They had two sons, Anthony and Raymond, who are among his survivors.
A heartfelt condolences to the Cornelius family for the lose of this great man who transformed the music industry bringing so many black artists into the business when the window of opportunity was so closed to many people of color.
We will remember your legacy. Rest in peace, Mr. Cornelius!