Monday, May 22, 2017

Shalamar – Uptown Festival (Soul Train Records)

Don Cornelius
Don Cornelius

Born in Chicago, IL, Don Cornelius run through various jobs, before finding something related to music. He eventually started with a 3 month broadcasting course back in 1966, soon after folloed by a contract as an announcer, news reporter and DJ on Chicago radio station WVON. He joined Chicago television station WCIU-TV the year after and hosted a news program called ‘A Black’s View Of The News’ 4 years before launching ‘Soul Train’ as a daily local show. A program which entered national syndication and moved to Los Angeles the following year with Eddie Kendricks and Gladys Knight & The Pips on board on the national debut episode.
From then, he would introduce countless Afro-American artists to a larger audience as a result of their appearances on ‘Soul Train’, a program which he hosted until 1993, suffering from complications of a 21-hour brain operation he underwent in 1982 to correct a congenital deformity in his cerebral arteries.
No need saying how chances are great that the history of contemporary music would have been way different without his precious contribution. And, as if it wasn’t enough, Soul Train also gave its name to the record label of the name, which he co-founded with Dick Griffey, welcoming many of those who would get to bigger fame soon after on S.O.L.A.R. Records, which they reconstituded out of Soul Train Records…
In the early hours of Feb. 01, 2012, Cornelius got found by the police at his homeplace with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. He was taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead by the Los Angeles County Assistant Chief Coroner. According to his son, he was in “extreme pain” by the end and said shortly before his death, “I don’t know how much longer I can take this.”

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