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Remembering Frankie Knuckles

"In Chicago, Frankie Knuckles was called the 'godfather,' not because of any underworld connections, but because he helped build house - a style of Chicago dance music that revolutionized club culture in the '70s and '80s and still resonates around the world today," Greg Kot writes for the Tribune.

"Knuckles died Monday at the age of 59."


"Knuckles learned his craft as a club DJ in New York City, then moved to Chicago in the late '70s and developed a reputation as one of the city's most influential dance-music tastemakers. He arrived in Chicago just as disco was losing steam. For many, disco literally went up in flames between games of a Chicago White Sox double header at Comiskey Park, when radio deejay Steve Dahl blew up hundreds of disco albums.

"I witnessed that caper that Steve Dahl pulled at Disco Demolition Night and it didn't mean a thing to me or my crowd," Knuckles told the Tribune. "But it scared the record companies, so they stopped signing disco artists and making disco records. So we created our own thing in Chicago to fill the gap."


"In Chicago, as the seventies became the eighties, if you were black and gay your church may well have been Frankie Knuckles' Warehouse, a three-story factory building in the city's desolate west side industrial zone," Bill Brewster and Frank Broughton wrote in Last Night a DJ Saved My Life.

"Offering hope and salvation to those who had few other places to go, here you could forget your earthly troubles and escape to a better place. Like church, it promised freedom, and not even in the next life. In this club Frankie Knuckles took his congregations on journeys of redemption and discovery."


"Knuckles was so popular that the Warehouse - initially a members-only club for largely black gay men - began attracting straighter, whiter crowds, leading its owner, Robert Williams, to eschew memberships," Michelangelo Matos writes for Rolling Stone.


"A maligned people had their maligned genre, and from there it grew to become a global phenomenon," Rich Juzwiak writes for Gawker. "Knuckles called house 'disco's revenge.'"


Honorary Frankie Knuckles Way.


"He returned to New York in 1988 to work in Manhattan clubs like the Roxy and the Sound Factory Bar," Daniel Slotnik writes for the New York Times.

"That same year, teamed with David Morales and Ms. Weinstein, he formed Def Mix Productions, which worked on elaborate house remixes for artists like Michael Jackson, Diana Ross and Chaka Khan. In 1991 he released his first album under his own name, Beyond the Mix, which included the singles 'The Whistle Song' and 'Workout.'"


The Whistle Song




Frankie Knuckles YouTube Mix.


See also: The House That Chicago Built.


Comments welcome.


Posted on April 2, 2014

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