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Soul Lost Its Don Today. [VIDEO]

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As if it’s not enough of a shock to loose one 70′s icon (Metuchen resident Robert Hegyes) in a week, now comes word of the sudden passing of Don Corneilus, creator and host of Soul Train.

If you’re one of the younger members of the Rossi Posse….here’s how it went.

Cornelius, as the story goes, was encouraged by Dick Clark to do an R and B version of American Bandstand; and started the show in a small Chicago TV studio in 1970.

It went national a couple of years later…seen locally first on Channel 5 Saturday mornings at 11!

I never had the chance to watch the show, because, at the time I was out delivering bread with my Uncle Frankie.

But I remember some of the houses that we delivered to had the show on in the background.  And I was jealous because my customers could watch…but not me!

Even my dad was a big fan of the show!

It was hard to resist the smooth dancing; and harder still to resist the music that defined the 70′s….Sly and the Family Stone, James Brown, Philly soul, and eventually disco.

And Don was the perfect host!

Understated…soft spoken…he let the music do the talking, and the dancers do the dancing!

Here in our area, there was a spinoff of the show….

A locally produced knockoff called “Soul Alive”…seen on Channel 11, and hosted by DJ Gerry B from WWRL.

But Don was the originator, much like WBLS’ Frankie Crocker and opened a lot of ears…..mine included…to the music that became part of the soundtrack of my life!

Those are my memories.

What are some of yours?

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