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JN
Feb 1st, 2012, 04:49 PM
'Soul Train' host Don Cornelius dead of suicide

By Jeff Wilson, Associated Press

Don Cornelius (http://content.usatoday.com/topics/topic/Don+Cornelius), who with the creation of Soul Train (http://content.usatoday.com/topics/topic/Soul+Train) helped break down racial barriers and broaden the reach of black culture with funky music, groovy dance steps and cutting edge style, died early Wednesday of an apparent suicide. He was 75.

http://i.usatoday.net/life/_photos/2012/02/01/Soul-Train-host-Don-Cornelius-found-dead-FBU9376-x.jpg (http://i.usatoday.net/life/_photos/2012/02/01/Soul-Train-host-Don-Cornelius-found-dead-FBU9376-x-large.jpg)
Soul Train was one of the first U.S. shows to
showcase African-Americans, and it introduced
television audiences to such legendary artists
as Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye and Barry White.

Officers responding to a report of a shooting found Cornelius at his Mulholland Drive (http://content.usatoday.com/topics/topic/Mulholland+Drive) home at around 4 a.m., police said. He was pronounced dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound at 4:56 a.m. at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center (http://content.usatoday.com/topics/topic/Cedars-Sinai+Medical+Center), said Los Angeles County Assistant Chief Coroner Ed Winter.

"I am shocked and deeply saddened at the sudden passing of my friend, colleague, and business partner Don Cornelius," said Quincy Jones (http://content.usatoday.com/topics/topic/People/Celebrities/Directors,+Producers,+Writers/Quincy+Jones). "Don was a visionary pioneer and a giant in our business. Before MTV there was Soul Train, that will be the great legacy of Don Cornelius. His contributions to television, music and our culture as a whole will never be matched. My heart goes out to Don's family and loved ones."

MORE: Listen to our soul playlist on Spotify (http://open.spotify.com/user/brian_mansfield/playlist/5CcdfHLw4je0F9RqI6TLb2)

The Rev. Al Sharpton (http://content.usatoday.com/topics/topic/People/Activists/Al+Sharpton) said he was shocked and grief-stricken.
"I have known him since I was19 years old and James Brown (http://content.usatoday.com/topics/topic/People/Celebrities/Musicians,+Composers,+Singers,+Rappers,+Groups/James+Brown) had me speak on Soul Train," Sharpton said in a statement from New York (http://content.usatoday.com/topics/topic/Places,+Geography/States,+Territories,+Provinces,+Islands/U.S.+States/New+York). "He brought soul music and dance to the world in a way that it had never been shown and he was a cultural game changer on a global level."

Soul Train began in 1970 in Chicago on WCIU-TV as a local program and aired nationally from 1971 to 2006.

It introduced television audiences to such legendary artists as Aretha Franklin (http://content.usatoday.com/topics/topic/People/Celebrities/Musicians,+Composers,+Singers,+Rappers,+Groups/Aretha+Franklin), Marvin Gaye (http://content.usatoday.com/topics/topic/People/Celebrities/Musicians,+Composers,+Singers,+Rappers,+Groups/Marvin+Gaye) and Barry White (http://content.usatoday.com/topics/topic/Barry+White) and brought the best R&B, soul and later hip-hop acts to TV and had teenagers dance to them. It was one of the first shows to showcase African-Americans prominently, although the dance group was racially mixed. Cornelius was the first host and executive producer.

"There was not programming that targeted any particular ethnicity," he said in 2006, then added: "I'm trying to use euphemisms here, trying to avoid saying there was no television for black folks, which they knew was for them."

Soul Train, with its trademark opening of an animated chugging train, was not, however, an immediate success for Cornelius, an ex-disc jockey with a baritone rumble and cool manner.

Only a handful of stations initially were receptive.

"When we rolled it out, there were only eight takers," he recalled in a 2006 interview with The Associated Press. "Which was somewhere between a little disappointing and a whole lot disappointing."

The reasons he heard? "There was just, 'We don't want it. We pass,'" he said, with race going unmentioned. "No one was blatant enough to say that."

Audience reaction and the high-powered talent the show attracted helped it spread. Over the years, Soul Train showcased some of R&B's biggest stars, including Gaye and Brown, as well as crossover white artists. In later years, it featured rap stars, although Cornelius acknowledged that he was no fan of the genre or the racier dance moves that younger teens had embraced.

The show's highlight was a dance line. Teens strutted and pranced their way between two lines of dancers awaiting their turn to show off. Over time, the dance line worked its way into American culture and is now an integral part of wedding receptions and parties.

Cornelius, who was inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame in 1995 and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (http://content.usatoday.com/topics/topic/Hollywood+Walk+of+Fame), said in 2006 he remained grateful to the musicians who made Soul Train the destination for the best and latest in black music.

"I figured as long as the music stayed hot and important and good, that there would always be a reason for Soul Train," Cornelius said.

The series spawned a franchise that includes the Soul Train Music Awards (http://content.usatoday.com/topics/topic/Soul+Train+Music+Awards), the Soul Train Lady of Soul Awards and the Soul Train Christmas Starfest.
Cornelius stepped down as Soul Train host in 1993. The awards returned to the air in 2009 after two-year hiatus. Last year's awards were held on Nov. 27 in Atlanta, with Earth Wind & Fire receiving the "Legend Award."

In his later years, Cornelius had a troubled marriage. In 2009, he was sentenced to three years' probation after pleading no contest to misdemeanor spousal battery. In his divorce case that year, he also mentioned having significant health issues.



Associated Press writers Nekesa Mumbi Moody in New York and Robert Jablon and Lynn Elber in Los Angeles contributed to this report.

(Source (http://www.usatoday.com/life/people/obit/story/2012-02-01/don-cornelius-soul-train-dies/52913978/1))

mykarma
Feb 1st, 2012, 04:53 PM
'Soul Train' host Don Cornelius dead of suicide

By Jeff Wilson, Associated Press

Don Cornelius (http://content.usatoday.com/topics/topic/Don+Cornelius), who with the creation of Soul Train (http://content.usatoday.com/topics/topic/Soul+Train) helped break down racial barriers and broaden the reach of black culture with funky music, groovy dance steps and cutting edge style, died early Wednesday of an apparent suicide. He was 75.

http://i.usatoday.net/life/_photos/2012/02/01/Soul-Train-host-Don-Cornelius-found-dead-FBU9376-x.jpg (http://i.usatoday.net/life/_photos/2012/02/01/Soul-Train-host-Don-Cornelius-found-dead-FBU9376-x-large.jpg)
Soul Train was one of the first U.S. shows to
showcase African-Americans, and it introduced
television audiences to such legendary artists
as Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye and Barry White.

Officers responding to a report of a shooting found Cornelius at his Mulholland Drive (http://content.usatoday.com/topics/topic/Mulholland+Drive) home at around 4 a.m., police said. He was pronounced dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound at 4:56 a.m. at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center (http://content.usatoday.com/topics/topic/Cedars-Sinai+Medical+Center), said Los Angeles County Assistant Chief Coroner Ed Winter.

"I am shocked and deeply saddened at the sudden passing of my friend, colleague, and business partner Don Cornelius," said Quincy Jones (http://content.usatoday.com/topics/topic/People/Celebrities/Directors,+Producers,+Writers/Quincy+Jones). "Don was a visionary pioneer and a giant in our business. Before MTV there was Soul Train, that will be the great legacy of Don Cornelius. His contributions to television, music and our culture as a whole will never be matched. My heart goes out to Don's family and loved ones."

MORE: Listen to our soul playlist on Spotify (http://open.spotify.com/user/brian_mansfield/playlist/5CcdfHLw4je0F9RqI6TLb2)

The Rev. Al Sharpton (http://content.usatoday.com/topics/topic/People/Activists/Al+Sharpton) said he was shocked and grief-stricken.
"I have known him since I was19 years old and James Brown (http://content.usatoday.com/topics/topic/People/Celebrities/Musicians,+Composers,+Singers,+Rappers,+Groups/James+Brown) had me speak on Soul Train," Sharpton said in a statement from New York (http://content.usatoday.com/topics/topic/Places,+Geography/States,+Territories,+Provinces,+Islands/U.S.+States/New+York). "He brought soul music and dance to the world in a way that it had never been shown and he was a cultural game changer on a global level."

Soul Train began in 1970 in Chicago on WCIU-TV as a local program and aired nationally from 1971 to 2006.

It introduced television audiences to such legendary artists as Aretha Franklin (http://content.usatoday.com/topics/topic/People/Celebrities/Musicians,+Composers,+Singers,+Rappers,+Groups/Aretha+Franklin), Marvin Gaye (http://content.usatoday.com/topics/topic/People/Celebrities/Musicians,+Composers,+Singers,+Rappers,+Groups/Marvin+Gaye) and Barry White (http://content.usatoday.com/topics/topic/Barry+White) and brought the best R&B, soul and later hip-hop acts to TV and had teenagers dance to them. It was one of the first shows to showcase African-Americans prominently, although the dance group was racially mixed. Cornelius was the first host and executive producer.

"There was not programming that targeted any particular ethnicity," he said in 2006, then added: "I'm trying to use euphemisms here, trying to avoid saying there was no television for black folks, which they knew was for them."

Soul Train, with its trademark opening of an animated chugging train, was not, however, an immediate success for Cornelius, an ex-disc jockey with a baritone rumble and cool manner.

Only a handful of stations initially were receptive.

"When we rolled it out, there were only eight takers," he recalled in a 2006 interview with The Associated Press. "Which was somewhere between a little disappointing and a whole lot disappointing."

The reasons he heard? "There was just, 'We don't want it. We pass,'" he said, with race going unmentioned. "No one was blatant enough to say that."

Audience reaction and the high-powered talent the show attracted helped it spread. Over the years, Soul Train showcased some of R&B's biggest stars, including Gaye and Brown, as well as crossover white artists. In later years, it featured rap stars, although Cornelius acknowledged that he was no fan of the genre or the racier dance moves that younger teens had embraced.

The show's highlight was a dance line. Teens strutted and pranced their way between two lines of dancers awaiting their turn to show off. Over time, the dance line worked its way into American culture and is now an integral part of wedding receptions and parties.

Cornelius, who was inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame in 1995 and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (http://content.usatoday.com/topics/topic/Hollywood+Walk+of+Fame), said in 2006 he remained grateful to the musicians who made Soul Train the destination for the best and latest in black music.

"I figured as long as the music stayed hot and important and good, that there would always be a reason for Soul Train," Cornelius said.

The series spawned a franchise that includes the Soul Train Music Awards (http://content.usatoday.com/topics/topic/Soul+Train+Music+Awards), the Soul Train Lady of Soul Awards and the Soul Train Christmas Starfest.
Cornelius stepped down as Soul Train host in 1993. The awards returned to the air in 2009 after two-year hiatus. Last year's awards were held on Nov. 27 in Atlanta, with Earth Wind & Fire receiving the "Legend Award."

In his later years, Cornelius had a troubled marriage. In 2009, he was sentenced to three years' probation after pleading no contest to misdemeanor spousal battery. In his divorce case that year, he also mentioned having significant health issues.



Associated Press writers Nekesa Mumbi Moody in New York and Robert Jablon and Lynn Elber in Los Angeles contributed to this report.

(Source (http://www.usatoday.com/life/people/obit/story/2012-02-01/don-cornelius-soul-train-dies/52913978/1))
So sad and he'll be remembered by many.

JN
Feb 1st, 2012, 05:09 PM
So sad and he'll be remembered by many.

Did you know that EW&F never appeared on Soul Train? I was listening to an interview with Verdine White the other day and he stated that the group had never ever appeared on Soul Train. Though their music has been featured on Soul Train lines and during the show, they have never graced that stage. I found that odd but he never said why. Earth, Wind & Fire were honored at this year's Soul Train Awards. I did not see the show but when the producers went searching through the archives looking for footage for the tribute, there was none from Soul Train. Verdine joked that they were the first group in history to be honored by a show they never appeared on. Really odd considering how hot E,W & F were during Soul Train's hey day.According to an interview that VW gave on the TJMS, the band wanted to play live and Don simply could not accomodate them at the time. Seems a little odd since Don Kirshner and the Midnight Special had EWF perform live on their shows.
Verdine said at the time, Maurice wanted a live presentation and Don wanted EWF to lipsync, but there was no hard feelings. (Source (http://soulfuldetroit.com/showthread.php?4317-Earth-wind-amp-fire-never-appeared-on-quot-soul-train-quot))

Barrie_Dude
Feb 1st, 2012, 05:43 PM
Soul Train was huge in my teen age years! RIP Don

Infiniti2001
Feb 1st, 2012, 06:00 PM
RIP Don :sad:


0g7KawdsVSQ

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Super Dave
Feb 1st, 2012, 06:04 PM
RIP, Mr. C.

Mistress of Evil
Feb 1st, 2012, 06:50 PM
RIP :awww:

miffedmax
Feb 1st, 2012, 07:19 PM
Sad. I was introduced to a lot of great music through that show.

Wishing love, peace and soul to him, and to those he left behind.

CrossCourt~Rally
Feb 1st, 2012, 07:33 PM
Very sad :sad: I remember staying up late on weekends back in the day to watch Soul Train. What an amazing voice :)

RIP

CrossCourt~Rally
Feb 1st, 2012, 07:34 PM
RIP Don :sad:


0g7KawdsVSQ

sHctA5PK9DE

Didn't Jody Watley start out as a Soul Train dancer ? :confused:

Super Dave
Feb 1st, 2012, 07:43 PM
Didn't Jody Watley start out as a Soul Train dancer ? :confused:

Yes, evidently. I can't believe she's 53 :eek:

CrossCourt~Rally
Feb 1st, 2012, 08:27 PM
Yes, evidently. I can't believe she's 53 :eek:

I know, right :eek: She still looks damn good though :D

brickhousesupporter
Feb 2nd, 2012, 02:14 AM
Didn't Jody Watley start out as a Soul Train dancer ? :confused:

OcUFcOzSqhY

It is kind of mean that they chose Shalamar to score the video.

RIP Don Cornelius

Gdsimmons
Feb 2nd, 2012, 02:45 AM
RIP Mr Cornelius!

mykarma
Feb 2nd, 2012, 02:57 AM
RIP Mr Cornelius!
Thanks for the memories

JN
Feb 2nd, 2012, 03:05 AM
OcUFcOzSqhY

It is kind of mean that they chose Shalamar to score the video.

RIP Don Cornelius

I once dated a girl simply because she looked like Jody Watley, here:

http://userserve-ak.last.fm/serve/_/36761747/Jody+Watley+gochir.jpg

Unfortunately, that's where the attraction ended. :weirdo:

Calvin M.
Feb 3rd, 2012, 11:31 PM
A sad day for Mr. Cornelius' family and the 70's children. Lots of memories. Thanks, DC! RIP.

Coincidentally, Don Cornelius gives a couple of quick commentaries on this week's "Unsung":

http://tvone.tv/unsung-videos?pid=P_H8dXQ6chy_hdIsxZpT59pdTN_VEGl8&cat=1

HippityHop
Feb 4th, 2012, 02:56 PM
VH1 reran 90 minute tribute to Soul Train last night. Barry White, Sly and the Family Stone played live among others. It was hella expensive.

Funny that Dick Clark tried to cash in on the Soul Train phenomenon with his own version but Don and Jesse Jackson :rolleyes: weren't having it. Dick pulled his version off the air.

Bijoux0021
Feb 4th, 2012, 05:21 PM
Centric TV, Channel 89, in New York City has a 24 hour Soul Train Marathon.

RIP, Mr. Cornelius :sad:

Number19
Feb 5th, 2012, 02:38 AM
been missing Soul Train

RIP

Rocketta
Feb 5th, 2012, 08:36 AM
Yes, sad news. RIP, Don!

Interestingly, I started taping reruns on Bounce a couple of weeks ago so my daughter could watch them with me as we love music in my house... so I've been watching a lot of Soul Train... :hearts: