Don Cornelius: 1936 – 2012

Don Cornelius stands with arms raised on the original 1970s Soul Train set

With my infrequent writing here, I’ve neglected the opportunity to previously mention over the last 18 months my obsession with and love of 1960s and 70s soul music (particularly though not exclusively Motown). And there is no such thing as 1970s soul (or 1970s style!) without the phenomenon that was Soul Train.

This morning I woke up to the devastating news that its creator and host Don Cornelius has died of a gunshot would. Preliminarily, that gunshot would looks to have been self-inflicted. He was 75 years old.

Don Cornelius was an incredibly awkward host. He was a fascinatingly terrible interviewer.

Horribly, I’ve had the second hard shock of learning this morning, he was also a domestic batterer.

And Don Cornelius was a genius, a visionary, a legend, who created and maintained one of the absolute greatest things.

He does not leave behind an uncomplicated legacy, but he will be sorely missed. So sorely, sorely missed.

RIP, Don. To repeat the cliche of the day — for you wrote your own eulogy — as always, in parting, we wish you love, peace, and soul.

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