Don Cornelius (1936-2012) Tribute: Highlights from his life from ‘Soul Train’ and beyond

Southside Chicago native, Don Cornelius, who developed, hosted, wrote, and produced “Soul Train” a weekly dance show that would revolutionize pop culture has died this morning from an apparent self inflicted gunshot wound to the head. He was 75 years old. In this post, I present a cursory historical account of Cornelius’ entertainment career from the launch of “Soul Train” onward and some of the contributing factors to his death.

VH1 Rock Docs presents “Soul Train: The Hippest Trip in America” Feb 5, 2010

Few television series were as innovative and influential to pop culture as “Soul Train.” Set first in Chicago, “Soul Train” launched on WCIU-TV with local radio and television personality, Don Cornelius on August 17, 1970. After moving the dance show to Los Angeles, “Soul Train” skyrocketed nationally and firmly secured its place in television by becoming the longest running, first-run syndicated series in history. To commemorate the show’s 40th anniversary, VH1 Rock Docs and Soul Train present “Soul Train: The Hippest Trip In America,” a monumental 90-minute documentary celebrating the show’s impact on pop culture, music, dance and fashion. The film will also feature a rare interview with Don Cornelius in which he reveals exclusive details regarding the launch and early days of the legendary series.