Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Don Cornelius (1936-2012)

As Dick Clark would become synonymous with American Bandstand, so would Don Cornelius with his inner-city answer, Soul Train, which launched as a local series out of Chicago in 1970, then went national a year later. Overall, Cornelius presided over the "hippest trip in America" for 23 seasons before stepping down in 1993. Today, we are learning of his passing at 75, reportedly from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

After stepping away from the cameras, Cornelius would continue to oversee Soul Train, turning over the MC duties to others, including actors Dorian Gregory (ex-Charmed) and Shemar Moore (now on Criminal Minds). Behind the scenes, though, Cornelius' marriage came to an end, though it wasn't quite as public as most celebrity marriages are, and thus, it wasn't quite as known.

In tribute to Cornelius, we present a clip from the 1st national season of Soul Train, with Cornelius interviewing Stevie Wonder, before Stevie performs "Superstition".

Rest in peace, Don.

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