In memory of Frankie Knuckles: 1955-2014



It all started in the year of 1977, at the Warehouse nightclub in Chicago. Frankie Knuckles, the Godfather of House music, was a resident DJ playing 8 to 10 hour sets at the revolutionary nightclub in The Windy City. People left the club exhausted from dirty dancing to the constant 4/4 beats all night, courtesy of the experimental mixing proficiency of Knuckles. He would mix the popular disco songs of the 70’s with his own sound; the rhythmic beats from his 909 drum machines, to create music that no one had ever heard before. Although gay black men mostly visited The Warehouse, the music became so popular in the area that a whiter and straighter crowd came more frequently. Knuckles said that: “My fondest memory is the mixed crowd. Racially, ethnically, sexually. That was the best thing.”

The Warehouse was strictly about the music, and from 1977 to Knuckles last year of residency in 1982, it was ONLY about the music. After a night out at the “House”, everyone would head down to the record stores asking for “house” music. In 1982, Knuckles made his own nightclub: The Power Plant; and after years of this genre refining movement, it was the latest craze with the younger population. Knuckles knew that house was here to stay, and boy was he right. Unfortunately, Frankie Knuckles passed away last week (Mar. 31), and the electronic dance music family couldn’t be in any more shock. Anyone who has ever gone to a nightclub that plays any genre of EDM, you can thank Knuckles; he was a true pioneer. Already, DJ’s around the world are planning tribute shows and remixes in memoriam of the legend. Although he has left us, his style and dream of house music still thrives. It may have not quite reached the pinnacle that he had dreamt, but it is well on its way. Over the coming years, you will see a drastic change to electronic dance music. Artists such as Tchami and Oliver Heldens may just take the world by storm, with their bouncy, deep house vibes, all influenced by the one and only Frankie Knuckles.