I woke up yesterday shocked to hear of the passing of Soul Train legend Don Cornelius. Even more shocked that it was from a self inflicted gun shot wound, an apparent suicide. Seriously? Very sad indeed. Don Cornelius introduced me to so many different artists as a child. I mean, I watched the damn show with my family, and continued to check it out always as I was growing up. I watched it for the music, not the fashion (although quite funny) and of course that Soul Train line. As I got older and started digging, I always came across the Soul Train compilations, which were important to an up and coming DJ like myself. Highlighting people I was familiar with: Isaac Hayes, Curtis Mayfield, The Spinners and the Dells (my dad’s favorite), I also got exposed to bands like the Natural Four, Bobby Blue Bland, and The Moments. This video highlights a lot of the great artists I got exposed to. Check out James Gadsen on the drums behind Bill Withers, and a gang of other great Funk, Soul, and Hip Hop artists that graced the Soul Train stage. Even Rosie Perez makes an appearance on the Soul Train line if you don’t blink.
Quest Love has spoken out on the passing of Don Cornelius. This is a really great, heartfelt article from a talented musician/ music historian. I am very sad that we’ve lost this legend. It seems like we’re losing a lot of them these days: Etta James, Jimmy Castor, and now Don Cornelius. A true innovator of television, human rights, and a music revolutionary. He changed the way we see music on tv, and exposed the world to some of the best artists we have ever known. We may not have Don Cornelius anymore, but we still have the thousands of clips all over the net of past episodes of Soul Train. You can also get a Soul Train like experience when you go to a Hot Peas and Butta DJ night, as Skeme Richards and company not only replicate the music, but play loads of Soul Train footage behind you as you dance the night away. Rest In Power Don, Peace and Soul forever.