Final Play: Fred Hickman's final word - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports, Social

Final Play: Fred Hickman's final word

It's a simple thank you and so long to a guy who did so much for entertainment television, the late, great Don Cornelius, creator and host of the 'Soul Train' television program.

Cornelius epitomized 'cool' in the '70's and 80's when I was growing up. 'Soul Train' was a dance program, featuring all the current and hip African American artists and bands, and all the dancers doing all the current steps us kids emulated. It was American Bandstand for the African American community, and Cornelius was the African American Dick Clark.

It was a show which brought the 'Soul Train Line' to town, and I mean *every* town in America. There was the Soul Train Scramble Board, where a couple would be given a matter of seconds to decipher some elementary name of a band or song while dancing. Nobody ever missed.

It was a show featuring stack heels, big fros, afro sheen, ultra sheen and ultra sheen cosmetics. it was the first place i remember seeing 'Earth, Wind and Fire' and the Ohio Players after hearing them on 45 rpm records. Those of you under 30-years of age, ask your parents about *records*.

Don Cornelius started the show as a local entity in Chicago in 1970, and it enjoyed a 35-year run in syndication. It lives on today right here on 'Bounce' in New Orleans.

Cornelius was found dead in his LA home, an apparent suicide, age 75. It was too soon. He was too cool. He will be missed, but he left his mark.

So, in memory of Don Cornelius, we wish you love, peace and soul.

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