“Love, Peace, and Soul.” These words became characteristic of Don Cornelius and the legacy he left behind: Soul Train. On February 1, 2012, he was found dead at his home in California from what appears to have been a suicide. In 1970, Don Cornelius established a TV series known as Soul Train that displayed music acts to all audiences and especially provided a bridge for black cultural. The show was an instant hit. It was one of the longest-running TV series in history that last all the way up to the mid 1990’s. Over the years Soul Train evolved but it maintained the same message for all of its viewers. A variety of famous stars over the years included; Al Green, Marvin Gay, Elton John, Rick James, Aretha Franklin, James Brown, Michael Jackson, and many others. Although the show began with a focus on Soul music and rightfully so too because it was the 70’s, it also experienced R&B, Funk, Jazz, Disco, Gospel, and the more recent and emerging Hip-Hop. However, Cornelius did not like the new Hip-Hop style, he allowed rappers to perform but he would openly tell them he did not understand their genre. Despite the sadness in Cornelius’ death, he left behind a great legacy that helped shape generations and continues to influence our very own.
Some Soul Train videos: