In very sad news, Soul Train legend Don Cornelius passed away this week. Rather than dwell on his untimely demise, IMAGES USA CMO Ricki Fairley-Brown decided to celebrate his life and his place in Black History as part of Black History Month.
Saturday Mornings at 11am were sacred in my house. Nothing would get in the way of watching the latest entertainers, the latest dance moves, the hippest clothes and of course, that irreplaceable booming voice and effervescent presence. Don Cornelius will go down in history as the music man of the world. He not only brought us the music, birthed stars and started dance crazes, but he also did insightful interviews with musicians that gave us a unique peak into their lives, values, and personalities. He integrated messages on social justice into the music setting. He was the epitome of cool! Mr. Cornelius was a pioneer in every sense of the word.
- He was the first Black owner of a nationally syndicated TV franchise
- He set the precedent for a wave of Black entrepreneurship in the entertainment business and formed powerful alliances with Black-owned sponsors
- He hosted a program that endured for 35 seasons
- He founded the “Soul Train Line” that is the mainstay of most African American parties
- He increased the hiring of Black professionals in the entertainment business both in front of and behind the camera
- Soul Train was one of the first brands other than Motown to take its brand into other business areas, like the Soul Train award shows.
His passing on the first day of Black History Month, 2012 is yet another milestone. So let’s celebrate his life. Turn on the music, get up a dance as he wishes us “Love, Peace and Sooooouuuuulllll!”
“Soul Train” was one of the longest-running syndicated shows in television history and played a critical role in spreading the music of black America to the world, offering wide exposure to musicians like James Brown, Aretha Franklin and Michael Jackson in the 1970s and 1980s.
We wish you Love, Peace and Sooooouuuulllll!
What did Don Cornelius and Soul Train mean to your life? Chime in below in our comments section or let IMAGES know via our Twitter