Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Don Cornelius - Soul Provider

I'm very sad about the passing of Don Cornelius, apparently of suicide. This man had a profound effect on my upbringing in the then white-bread deep East Bay. Although I was surrounded by infinite amounts of white people and their homogenized ways, my cousins were living in more urban environs and all of us bonded over Soul Train. Don Cornelius helped my more isolated suburban friends to have a broader musical background than if they had listened to only top-40 radio exclusively.

To be fair, top-40 radio was much more inclusive than radio of today. And even more inclusive than Internet radio, which tends to segregate itself into repetitive genre play. Don Cornelius was the glue that bound all the soul happenings of the 70s and 80s together. He had the best R&B, funk and soul bands on his show, as well as solo artists, black and white.

Don Cornelius was a television and music visionary, wearing a stylish suit and interviewing the hottest acts in his low, rumbling voice. He had us all line dancing every week, which was a great joy. He provided much happiness over the years and I already miss him.

1 comment:

StarryPluto said...

I still watch syndicated re-runs of the show I grew up loving! I was very shocked and sad to learn of his passing also. Esp the way it happened. Thanks for posting this!