Tuesday 1 April 2014

Frankie Knuckles 1955 - 2014 The Godfather of House

Growing up in the late 1980s I was surrounded by music. I listened to the music of my parents: Reggae, Rhythm & Blues, Jazz and Soul. I also loved 80s Pop music.

In 1987 things changed. I discovered 2 genres of music from black America. One was Hip Hop the other was House music. I've never stopped listening to those 2 genres.

Today I discovered that the man who invented House music, the pioneer, the Godfather died. His name was Frankie Knuckles and I can't imagine what my record collection would look like if it wasn't for him.

Anyone who knows anything about House music and dance music culture in general will know just how significant and influential Frankie Knuckles truly was.

One the greatest house tracks ever

Back in the early 80s Disco was on its way out. Exploited by major records labels and suffering the backlash that the 'disco sucks movement' created. Disco went back underground never to be seen again...or so people thought.

Disco never died it simply mutated and reformed and the man responsible was Frankie Knuckles. He kept disco alive by re-editing and remixing old disco tracks he played at the Warehouse nightclub in Chicago.

The records that Knuckles played at the Warehouse started to become known has house tracks and a new genre was born.

By the late 80s House music was gaining popularity in the UK and an entire music culture was forming. No wonder Knuckles referred to House music as 'Disco's revenge'

The Whistle song Frankie's biggest hit in the UK.

It probably wasn't until the early 90s that I really started getting into House music properly. Listening to Pete Tong's Essential Selection on a Friday evening and then going out shopping at weekends buying 12" records on vinyl.

So many great remixes to choose from but I'm going with Andrea Mendez: Bring Me Love

I soon got up to speed on the major players in House music of which Knuckles was the Godfather. I've spent the last 25 years being obsessed with this music.

Hours of my life spent in record shops and in clubs. Never getting tired or bored of House music. Knowing that it never lets me down and will always get me on a dancefloor.

I owe all of this to Frankie Knuckles.

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