Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Don Cornelius

Right around Christmas I tried to purchase the Soul Train Box Set from a local DVD Store that was liquidating due to a lost lease. The guy was closing his store the next day and he still wanted 90 bucks for it. I offered him 40 and he still said no dice. Maybe it's not the most appropriate thing to talk about cheaping out on a person's body of work on the day of their death, but the truth is Don Cornelius' legacy lives on for free every day.

I've already mentioned how much I love Soul Train so I'm not going to sit here and lecture about what an influence it has had on American Culture. Instead, think of that person who introduced you your  favorite song; Don Cornelius was that guy for an entire generation. The only problem I ever really had with Soul Train was the horrible lip synching. Marvin Gaye is one of the best performers ever, but make him fake sing to Sexual Healing, and he is as awkward as a chubby white kid singing it in a Montreal karaoke bar during Spring Break 2003... not that I would know.

In honor of the Conductor of the Soul Train, the aforementioned locomotive is making three stops on #EDAS. First up is a young Lionel Ritchie apparently trying to scare away vampires by wearing a wreath of garlic as a member of the Commodores. At the next stop, Don Cornelius flexes his all-time buttery voice in an interview with Aretha Franklin, who is draped in some sort of a hammock, fully exposing her untamed soulful bosom; truly a sight to be seen. The third and final stop is a medley by the man who puts the Soul in Soul Train, James Brown. I included his performance because not even Aretha's flowin' lady-parts can follow the hardest working man in show business... The only person I've seen play the show live, you can't possibly ask the Godfather to fake it.

Don Cornelius is an epic figure in the history of music and through his fans and late night reruns, he was able to inspire me to do a somewhat danceless, bizarro version of his timeless soul showcase. Although he must have been battling some demons, I am more than thankful for his contributions to the music community. Here is his traditional sign-off one last time...  

I'm Don Cornelius, and as always in parting, we wish you love, peace and soul"
Don "Cornelius" Cortez

The Commodores - Machine Gun

Aretha Franklin - Jump

James Brown - Cold Sweat/Papa's Got a Brand New Bag/
Payback/Damn Right I Am Somebody