TVD Recommends: Soul Train Don Cornelius Tribute Party at the Black Cat, tomorrow!

by William Devon and Matthew Lipsit

Don Cornelius was the father of the modern dance show. Soul Train opened new audiences to “urban” music, helping to make Disco, Funk, Soul, R&B, even Hip Hop the giants they are today. He also set the standard for other revolutionary dance shows like Detroit’s The Scene, which helped popularize Detroit Techno, or the UK’s Top of the Pops on BBC One.

We pay homage to the immortal Don Cornelius tomorrow, Friday, March 2nd, at the Black Cat Backstage with four of the area’s top disco DJs throwing down—including some classic disco, all-vinyl sets—at the Soul Train Don Cornelius Tribute Party. Be one of the first 30 to enter and get a free Soul Train DVD! To get you ready for the disco mayhem of Friday, each of the DJs will be sharing his favorite Soul Train artist(s) today and tomorrow.

First up, DJs William Devon and Matthew Lipsit, aka Mr. Bonkerz.

William Devon  |  Al Green would have to be my favorite Soul Train performer. The sound of his voice and the conviction with which he delivers his music is undeniable. Growing up, I listened to Al Green as a child, and I never really understood how truly gifted a performer he is. This video basically captures my favorite performance on Soul Train.

Hailing from the DMV, William DeVon brings his distinct nu-disco funk to enthusiasts across the city. A regular at establishments such as Mig Bar, Science Club, and Velvet Lounge, William caters to all audiences, managing to satisfy indie-dance snobs, mid-twenties bar-goers, and even that special breed of nostalgia-loving music aficionado. He’s been stepping up his production game, and with April comes the release of William’s EP Dancing Floors. A professional dance-party facilitator, William lives to hit all the right jams at the right times.

Mr. Bonkerz  |  There were so many musicians/artists that I could’ve chosen, but these two are at the top of my list. They proved to society that you could jump genre’s and get away with it.

Michael McDonald: I am, and have always been, a huge fan of the classic rock scene, and the Doobie Brothers were smack in the middle. I remember going through my parents’ vinyls when I was a little kid and seeing so many of their records. I really didn’t have a choice; I was destined to like them and instantly fell in love with their melodic harmonies and catchy guitar riffs. “What A Fool Believes” is still one of my all-time favorite songs. And don’t even get me started on that voice of Mr. McDonald. Second to none in my book!

David Bowie: I’m sure very few people would think of Bowie or are even aware that he performed on Soul Train, but he’s another huge influence and a true pioneer in the funky disco pop movement. Like McDonald, Bowie is in a league of his own with his fearless approach to creative thinking and experimentation. “Hunky Dory” is a Top Five album in my book. Another genius example of an artist who created his own image and never looked back.

Honorary Mention: Sylvester. I couldn’t find a Soul Train video, but a legendary icon, and in my opinion the true face of the disco scene.

Getting to be a part of this truly memorable night is hard to express in words. I have always had a strong love for Soul Train and have been wanting to do this party for quite some time now. If you don’t believe me, come check out my massive Soul Train DVD Collection (over 50 hours!). There is one thing I can promise you come Friday night—an epic dance party that will celebrate and commemorate the life of Don Cornelius… with plenty of Soul Train lines!

Mr. Bonkerz doesn’t discriminate when it comes to disco. He loves it all. Funky, Deep, Cosmic, Old or Nu, it all puts a smile on his face. He has opened for The Twelves, Classixx, Plastic Plates, Will Eastman, The Magician, Start Making Sense, and Orchard Lounge, and looks to continue spreading the disco vibes across the Northeast in 2012. You can catch him at his monthly disco party Shenaniganz over at the 9:30 Club Backbar on 2nd Fridays and his newest adventure, Disco In Space, over at Velvet Lounge on 3rd Wednesdays.

The Soul Train Don Cornelius Tribute Party kicks off at the Black Cat Backstage at 10pm tomorrow. See you there!

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