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R.I.P. Don Cornelius

“… 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.

For some great clips of classic Soul Train moments, be sure to check out the Soul Train YouTube Channel.

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.

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BPT’s Summer Music Festival Guide

Through the tiny window in the Event Promotions office, a ray of light penetrates the Brown Paper Tickets basement offices. It hurts my eyes to look at. It’s something that I haven’t seen for many months. What could it be? I think it’s sunshine! That tells me one thing, summer is coming. Time to break out the sunglasses and the shorts and get out there and do some outdoor living.

The sunshine also heralds the beginning of summer music festival season and, let me tell you, we’re ticketing tons of great festivals all over the country. From classical concerts to jam bands to indie rock, it’s all represented here and while my list is probably far from complete, I’ve included some of the festivals that caught my eye.
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