"... and you can bet your last money, it's all gonna be a stone gas, honey! I'm Don Cornelius, and as always in parting, we wish you love, peace and soul!"
Those words closed every episode of a show that many of us soul and r&b fans grew up with. Of course, I'm talking about Soul Train and the man that will forever be associated with the iconic musical variety show, Mr. Don Cornelius. Cornelius sadly passed away this morning in Los Angeles and we want to take this opportunity to recognize a cultural icon that turned many of us on to the likes of James Brown, Aretha Franklin and Al Green.
Soul Train first aired on October 1971 and ran through March of 2006 earning it the credit as the "longest-running, first-run, nationally syndicated program in television history," boasting over 1,100 episodes in its 35-year history. Cornelius created the show, was the executive producer and was the original host until 1993.
Cornelius started out as a journalist and recognized that, in the late 60s, there was no televised venue for America's thriving soul and r&b music scene. By creating Soul Train, he exposed many soul artists to a much wider audience and also made the airwaves a little more funky. Thanks Don, you'll be missed.
In his memory, we've put together a list of some events coming up that Don would've dug. Get out there, support your local soul scene and shake it like you're one of the Soul Train dancers.
Saturday, February 4
N'dambi - St. Louis, Missouri Canvas Entertainment & Select Saturday Present: N.E.O.soul sisters featuring 2011 Grammy Nominee N'dambi with Julie Dexter and DJ Needles.
Thursday, February 9
Nu-Thursdays 1st Anniversary w/ Shafiq Husayn - Los Angeles, California Nu-Soul Magazine and Little Temple present the Nu-Thursdays 1st Anniversary Event. Featuring performances from Shafiq Husayn & DoVe Society (inclduing Jimetta Rose, J. Mitchell, Breezy Lovejoy, and I, Ced). Opening performance by Maimouna Youssef.
Zion-I at SJSU for Congenital Heart Disease - San Jose, California Taking the underground by storm with their debut album in 2000 titled Mind Over Matter, producer DJ AmpLive and MC Zumbi make up the Oakland native hip-hop group better known as Zion I. Known for their futuristic production techniques as well as their positive and socially conscious lyrics, the hip-hop duo boasts a total of seven studio albums including collaborations with Living Legends' member The Grouch.
Saturday, February 11
Idle Warship (Talib Kweli x Res) Live At The PAGODA - San Jose, California The Fairmont Hotel & Universal Grammar invite you to join them for the second installment of the Live At The Pagoda Winter Music Series. The Pagoda brings the band Idle Warship to its stage. Idle Warship is a collaboration between longtime friends and collaborators, hip-hop luminary Talib Kweli and critically acclaimed soulful singer and songwriter Res, Idle Warship was born out of sheer experimentation in the studio. Joining Idle Warship to open the festivities will be local stalwart Anya and the Get Down.
Pre Valentines Day The Music Of Will Downing - Hayward, California An evening of love and ecstasy with some of Will's best known love songs performed by Greg Ballad and the Dream'Set. They have been doing justice to Will's music for years and Greg Ballad has the same great tone as will and you may not be able to tell the difference. Also performances by recording artist Ladee Rein, Mickala Cheadle, Dionne Character & Bay Area's own Terry T.
Z Lounge - Oakland, California The Z Lounge is an undeniably authentic atmosphere that caters to ultimate relaxation, great entertainment and an insatiable menu. Conveniently located in Oakland, this gem is the perfect place for friends, couples and colleagues to spend a Saturday evening. Outfitted with a top-notch house band, that's well versed in jazz, neo-soul and R&B, the state-of-the-art sound system makes it's perfect for intimate concerts. Whether relaxing on comfortable seating, mingling at the non-alcoholic specialty drink bar, or grooving on the dance floor, the Z Lounge shines with all the amenities conducive to a pleasurable night!
Portland Soul Revue at The Secret Society Ballroom - Portland, Oregon The Secret Society Ballroom presents: Portland Soul Revue featuring Soulmasters Marilyn Keller, Renato Caranto, Clay Giberson Dave Iula, Paul Carrigg and Andrew Worley. You can dance the night away to hits from artists such as Al Green, Sly Stone, Ray Charles, James Brown, Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin and many more.