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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

"Love, Peace, & Soul!"

R.I.P. Donald Cortez Cornelius
September 27, 1936 - February 2, 2012

I was 13 years old when this show hit the air waves in 1971 and I was a loyal fan for many years. In its 35 year history, the show primarily featured performances by rhythm and blues, soul, and hip-hop artists, although jazz musicians and gospel singers also appeared on the show. It was known for its animated opening titles and sequences between musical performances featuring the popular cartoon train created by various cartoon studios.

As a nod to Soul Train's longevity, the show's opening sequence during later seasons also contained a claim that it was the "longest-running, first-run, nationally-syndicated program in television history," with over 1,100 episodes produced from the show's debut through the 2005-2006 season. The series was created by Don Cornelius, who also served as the host and executive producer. The show aired first-run episodes from 1971 to 2006. Production was suspended following the 2005-2006 season, with a rerun package known as The Best of Soul Train airing for two years after that.

The show lives on to this day in the hearts of many people in the form of the "Soul Train Line", which spotlighted all of the individual dancers on the show in each episode. No cabaret, family gathering, wedding reception, etc. is considered complete without the formation of a Soul Train Line... and that tradition will more than likely continue for many, many years to come.

Don, whether you know it or not, you helped raise me... each and every Saturday, without fail, I was in front of the TV watching Soul Train. You were appreciated and loved more than you could ever know and you will live on in my heart and mind forever!

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