Today the world learned the sad news that Don Cornelius, the ultra-smooth host of the iconic television show Soul Train, passed away. To commemorate him we’ve put together a playlist of some of our favorite soul tracks from the MP3 database. Take a listen, grab some free downloads, and pay homage to one of the great music hosts of all time.
Born and raised in Chicago, Don Cornelius’s original career was in journalism. He was inspired by the civil rights movement and covered it both in print and over the air on the classic Chicago radio station WVON. In the late 1960’s he realized that there was no venue on television for the soul music that was being played at WVON, so he created the show Soul Train to give voice to this rapidly growing part of African-American culture.
Soul Train played a prominent role in introducing African-American musicians to a wider audience, helping to break such artists as James Brown, Aretha Franklin and Michael Jackson. Its impact on American culture is difficult to overstate.
At the end of each show Don would close with his catchphrase, “And you can bet your last money, it’s all gonna be a stone gas, honey! I’m Don Cornelius, and as always in parting, we wish you love, peace and soul!”
This one’s for you Don – love, peace and soul.