Don Cornelius, Soul Train legend, was found dead today, from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. How bloody awful.
I was a huge Cornelius fan as a kid. My Saturday mornings belonged to the velvet-voiced Don Cornelius and the Soul Train gang, "the hippest trip in America." Everything, even the clothes, were hipper, sexier, edgier. I loved that show. Every Saturday, like clockwork, my sisters and I would gather around the television set in my ma's room and watch the King of Peace and Soul. It was holy. We copied the dances, the fashions, the 'tude. While my classmates listened to southern rock like Allman Brothers, Neil Young, or the Dead, Phish etc, my turntable spun R&B Al Green, Bobby Bland, Stevie Wonder, Earth Wind and Fire, James Brown, Barry White, etc.
It was a family tradition all through our tween and teen years, until every last one of us left that house.
The highlight, of course, was the killer dance moves while boogieing down the Soul Train line. And the Soul Train dancers were all that. Video below, the only time Cornelius got down on the world famous Soul Train Line (not once but twice):
The end of era.
He closed every episode with this signature signoff: “I’m Don Cornelius, and as always in parting, we wish you love, peace and soul!”
RIP, soul man.