Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Don Cornelius September 27, 1936 – February 1, 2012

Donald Cortez Cornelius was an innovator who had a vision to bring African American teen’s dance style, fashion and musical artists to mainstream television all across America in the 1970s with Soul Train. Don Cornelius grew up on the Southside of Chicago he graduated from high school in 1954 and joined the United States Marine Corps he served in Korea for one and a half years. Don Cornelius had several jobs after he left the marines, selling tires, automobiles, insurance and police officer. In 1966 Don Cornelius quit his job and took a broadcasting course and then became a news reporter and disc jockey on WVON a radio station in Chicago. Don Cornelius was a journalist for the civil rights movement, while reporting on the civil unrest of the times; he was noticing that there were no television shows for African Americans.He introduce Soul Train to WCIU-TV in Chicago in the mid-1960s. Soul Train went national in 1970 in Los Angeles California. Don Cornelius died of a self-infected gunshot wound. It is sad the way Don Cornelius died, but is legacy will live on through the Soul Train Music Awards; I think it is the best music award show because the musical acts play live.They don’t fake it like the other awards shows. I remember getting up on early Saturday morning doing my chores before Soul Train came on. I could hardly wait to see the dancing and what outfits the dancers had on. Being a teen at the time Soul Train taught me how to dance and about fashion. Rest in Peace Don Cornelius, thank you for bringing America the “Hippest Trip in America”

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