SOOOOOOOOUUUUUUULLLLLLLLL TRAIN! IMAGES Remembers Don Cornelius

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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

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4 responses to “SOOOOOOOOUUUUUUULLLLLLLLL TRAIN! IMAGES Remembers Don Cornelius

  1. I had the pleasure of attending and personally meeting Don Cornelius during the Soul Train Music Awards a couple of years ago. Words cannot express the footprint he left on the music and entertainment industry. Soul Train provided a platform to showcase AA artists and their music it was the hippest ride in town. When I was a student, everything stopped on campus at 1pm on Saturdays as we feasted on the latest in dance, styles and trends. We owe a debt of gratitude to Don for his vision. Thank you Don!
    RIP.

    Gwen Robinson

  2. My 32 year old nephew emailed me that when he was a kid he always looked forward to being at my house on Saturday mornings because he knew my kids and I would have Soul Train blasting…but how bout this, in Southwest Georgia, my 3 sisters and I, when we were in our late teens and early 20s, sat, danced and watch Soul Train for fashion, latest dances and fine boys (and being envious of the fine girls) What Don Cornelius did by bringing Soul Train to us was much deeper than just entertainment….I really hope that he was aware of how many lives he touched through this program.

    • @ Ms. Peggy: I am really laughing at the “watch Soul Train for fashion, latest dances and fine boys (and being envious of the fine girls)” part. I think Soul Train was a trendsetter on many fronts. From fashion to dance. Quite frankly, some of the looks (fashion that is) from the earlier seasons of the show are in now. They were very chic. Mr. Conrelius definitely made a mark in history that will be remembered by many. There aren’t many voices today that you are able to immediately recognize listening to the television from the other room.

  3. My sister and I would get up every Saturday morning and watch cartoons, Video Soul, Soul Train and American Band Stand. We loved doing all the dances along with the TV. Soul Train was definitely a staple in our house and contributed to our families love for music and dance. Don Cornelius was a pioneer and made major contributions to African American music.

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