Remembering Don Cornelius, Creator of Soul Train

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Don Cornelius, the creator of "Soul Train," died Wednesday of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He began his career as a journalist who wrote passionately about the civil rights movement.  After noticing the lack of African American music on popular television, he created the Chicago-based show "Soul Train" in 1970 to showcase the funky blending of gospel and R&B that is soul music. It quickly gained an audience and went into syndication nationally a year later. Celeste Headlee looks back on why "Soul Train" was groundbreaking and reflects on the may ways that Cornelius' legacy lives on. 

Produced by:

Kristen Meinzer

Comments [2]

Jim Quince from 60466

Sorry to hear your gushing commentary this morning. Mr. Corneilus & SOUL TRAIN were cool, but your comments exaggerated. There was a dance in the 1950's called The Stroll which obviously pre-dated the SOUL TRAIN Line. TV may have pretty much ignored soul music, but pop radio, at least in Chicago, did not; Aretah Franklin, the Impressions, James Brown, Wilson Pickett, Otis Redding, Marvin Gaye ... all had songs on the WLS & WCFL Top 40 pop charts before Mr. Cornelius started SOUL TRAIN. At the end of 1968, songs by the Supremes & Marvin Gaye pushed the Beatles out of the #1 spot on Billboard's Hot 100. For a real appreciation of the man & his show, you should not inflate the facts (that't the job of talk radio hosts, successors to Paul Harvey).

Feb. 02 2012 01:33 PM
Saul Schildhorn from Delray Beach FL

Nice report on Don Cornelius. Unfortunately, many of The Takeway reports on the Miami FL outlet are cut out for sometimes, 15 to 20 minutes of local stories, many of which are not newssworthy. When I'm in New York, I can listen to The Takeway without missing half the program, as is the case on WLRN in Miami. I grew up in the 50's and 60's R&B and rock and roll days, and Don Cornelius is was an asset in promoting this music.

Feb. 02 2012 11:36 AM

Leave a Comment

Register for your own account so you can vote on comments, save your favorites, and more. Learn more.
Please stay on topic, be civil, and be brief.
Email addresses are never displayed, but they are required to confirm your comments. Names are displayed with all comments. We reserve the right to edit any comments posted on this site. Please read the Comment Guidelines before posting. By leaving a comment, you agree to New York Public Radio's Privacy Policy and Terms Of Use.