Get on the train!

By: sonofabeach96

Sep 27 2015

Category: Uncategorized


On this date in 1936, Donald Cortez Cornelius was born in Chicago’s South Side.  He was best known as the smooth, imposing, baritone-voiced host of Soul Train.  He was the epitome of cool, and the show itself provided a nationwide stage for him to expand exposure for African-American artist’s.  He hosted the show from 1971-1993 under national syndication.

He actually began the show in 1970, as a daily local broadcast in Chicago.  After a stint in the military, serving during the Korean War, he sol cars and insurance, and was even a Chicago police officer.  He took a short broadcasting course in 1966, and then landed a gig at radio station WVON in Chicago.  He did some announcing, reporting, and was a DJ.  A year later, he started working at TV station WCIU, hosting his own show, A Black’s View Of The News.  In 1970 he started the local version of the show, with it moving to syndication, and Los Angeles, the following year.

Cornelius was motivated as a reporter by the Civil Rights Movement, and noted that there was no television venue for soul music during the 60’s.  He provided African-Americans with a venue of their own, showcasing artists and dancers to a wide audience.  The predominance of the dancers could be seen as precursor to the dancing shows of today.  It was groundbreaking and watched by millions.  Prior to this show, African-Americans were rarely seen on TV, and it appealed to a white audience as well.  This kind of cross-cultural appeal was a first.

He was 75 when he died, from a self-inflicted gunshot.

In honor of this trendsetting, smooth talkin’, cool-epitomizing host, my songs of the day are from some of the myriad of performances over the years:

“Can’t Get Enough Of Your Love, Babe” by Barry White

“Let’s Get It On” by Marvin Gaye

“I Want To Take You Higher” by Sly & The Family Stone

“Respect” by Aretha Franklin

“Superfly” by Curtis Mayfield

8 comments on “Get on the train!”

  1. This brings back memory of “Heard it Through the Grapevine” by Marvin Gaye (song was also used as a jingle for Kellogg’s Raisin Bran – very creative) I hope he got paid for it! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. thanks for the info….love all the songs…and they bring back great memoires…Aretha is my girl!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Lovin your playlists ☺

    Liked by 1 person

  4. “Respect” is outstanding!

    Liked by 1 person

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