Wednesday, February 1, 2012

R.I.P Don Cornelius

I woke up this morning only to discover Don Cornelius, host, creator and producer of Soul Train, took his life early this morning. He was only 75 years. It truly saddened me. How can a man filled with so much genius and innovation decide to take his own life?There has to be more to the story that's untold. Mr."Soul Train" himself launched the careers of so many great musicians from James Brown to Elton John to Al Sharpton. He gave them a platform to showcase their talent when no one else would.

Don Cornelius, a native of Chicago, IL, started the show in 1970. The first part of his career he started off as a salesman. He switched gears and his interest grew in television after he saw a void for African-Americans to show the world their talents. His career in television started as a writer for a local Chicago station. From there "Soul Train"was born. The famed show was modeled after "American Bandstand" hosted by Dick Clark. The show was only shown locally in Chicago, Atlanta, Houston and Los Angeles. The show quickly became a success and was nationally broadcast in 1971.

The shows 35 year run changed the lives of so many African-Americans and Americans for that matter. Every single Saturday morning people took a ride on the hippest show. If not for the music, definitely for the trendy styles , dance moves and hair. Don Cornelius shifted the way music television was conducted with this iconic show. He pioneered a new approach to reaching audiences of all levels. He changed the brand of musical artists and allowed them into the homes of millions every single week. Its a sad loss to both the television and music community. As the investigation into his death continues many details will be uncovered about the motive behind untimely suicide. Who knew he was so troubled that he wanted to end it all? Nevertheless, he leaves behind a deeply legacy. It will touch many generations after him. May he rest in love, peace and soul.

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