Donald Cortez "Don" Cornelius is an African-American television show host and producer who is best known as the creator of the nationally syndicated dance/music franchise, Soul Train, which he hosted from 1971-1993. After owning the program for its entire run, Cornelius sold the show to MadVision Entertainment in 2008.
Cornelius was one of the early employees of WVON.
Originally a journalist inspired by the civil rights movement, Cornelius recognized that in the late 1960s there was no television venue in the United States for soul music, and introduced many African-American musicians to a larger audience as a result of their appearances on Soul Train, a program that was influential among African-Americans, and popular with a wider audience. As writer, producer, and host of Soul Train, Cornelius was instrumental in offering wider exposure to black musicians like James Brown, Aretha Franklin, and Michael Jackson, as well as creating opportunities for talented dancers that would presage subsequent television dance programs. Cornelius said "We had a show that kids gravitated to," and Spike Lee described the program as an "urban music time capsule."
Cornelius is best known for the catchphrase that he used to close the show: ". 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!" After Cornelius's departure, it was shortened to ".and as always, we wish you love, peace and soul!" and was used through the most recent new episodes in 2006. Another introductory phrase he often used was: ''"We got another sound comin' out of Philly that's a sure 'nough dilly".