In the early-morning hours of February 1st, 2012, police officers responded to a call at 12685 Mulholland Drive in Beverly Hills, California. According to reports, Don Cornelius, aged 75, died from an apparent gun shot wound to the head. Regardless of the reason; the producer, journalist, and creator of the TV Series “Soul Train” is dead. Whether we admit or not, we all fight demons on a daily basis. For those on the outside, things may look good. But it is only in tragedy that we realize those things that appear good to others may not necessarily be true within. However, Don Cornelius left a positive global impact and a legacy that will forever overshadow his sudden loss.
Before Don Cornelius was a television host, he was a journalist inspired by the Civil Rights Movement. In the late 1960s, American television did not recognize soul music as viable entertainment for the masses. Don Cornelius was influential in introducing African-American musicians to a larger audience from their appearances on Soul Train. “Pop culture crosses racial lines and whether you believe it or not, so does music.” These are the words of a close friend that made me realize once again the enduring power of music. The 308 Blues Club has been a vessel of change in the Mississippi Delta for almost a decade and will continue do so as long as there is music.
The 308 Blues Club has dedicated each Friday night to all blues-inspired music which includes: funk, soul, R&B, and yes, even hip-hop. Again, Don Cornelius introduced these varied styles of African-American music, clothing, dance, and culture to a greater audience with Soul Train. Tomorrow night, we will continue our on-going efforts. We will continue to be that vessel of change. We will share Don Cornelius’ legacy.
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 3rd: Team 308 honors Don Cornelius with an evening of soul at the 308 Blues Club in Indianola. Enjoy funk, soul, R&B, and hip-hop courtesy of James Brown, Prince, the Jackson 5, Marvin Gaye, The Temptations, Patti Labelle, Chaka Khan, Morris Day and the Time, Rick James, Tina Marie, Appolonia, Vanity, LL Cool J, Salt n’ Pepa, New Edition, Jodeci, Keith Sweat, DeBarge, Taylor Dayne, and many others. We are bringing Soul Train to the Mississippi Delta… Team 308 style.