01 February 2012

KingCast. says "Goodnight, Don Cornelius."

Mere words cannot describe how much Don Cornelius meant, and still means to music and culture. American Bandstand pales in comparison (but still cool). From his website. From the NYTimes:

Mr. Cornelius, a former disc jockey, created “Soul Train” in 1970 for the Chicago television station WCIU and served as its writer, producer and host. When it became a local sensation, he moved the show to Los Angeles and began broadcasting nationally in 1971, beginning a 35-year run in syndication.
In its heyday, it was a formative experience every Saturday morning for young people of all backgrounds and afforded some of the most important soul and R&B acts their first national television exposure. It was also a platform for white rock musicians like Elton John and David Bowie to reach black audiences.

To know that he took his own life surprises me as much or more than my high school friend and music visionary Matt Mugridge, co founder of Cleveland's iconic Grog Shop. I was in law school when he, Kathy and Shawn opened up at the base of Coventry Road at Mayfield in an old biker bar. I visited almost every day after school. We will never know what demons they were dealing with, but what we can do is enjoy everything they brought for us to experience. As Matt used to say "That's all you CAN DO!!!"

RIP guys. Thank you.

PS: Whatever went on with ex-wife Viktoria Chapman, it is an even crueler twist of fate that she will apparently receive his life insurance proceeds. He couldn't wait to get rid of her, now she gets his money.

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