Frankie Knuckles, “Godfather of House Music” Passes Away at Age 59
Legendary, Frankie Knuckles known affectionally as the “godfather of house music”– a style of dance music that revolutionized club culture in the ‘70s and ‘80s and still surges around the world today.
Knuckles died Monday at the age of 59, confirmed by his longtime business partner, Frederick Dunson said in an email that Knuckles “died unexpectedly this afternoon at home.” Knuckles was not just a house music producer he would go on to mix records by major artists such as Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson and Depeche Mode.
Knuckles begin DJing 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 innovators. Arriving in Chicago just as disco was losing momentum.
Knuckles was mentored by beloved DJ Larry Levan in the early ‘70s while in New York. He took his teachings and new spinning techniques to the midwest, where is settled in Chicago and became know as “the godfather of Chicago house music” at the Warehouse and later the Power Plant.
He would take soul and R&B records and turn them into hot dance tracks, and remix new singles being produced by other house music producers and incorporate drum machines to accentuate the beat.
Knuckles was primarily known as a DJ, but he also played a key role as a dance music cultural creator, talent scout and producer. A known fact that, Knuckles bought his first drum machine from Derrick May, one Detroit’s founders of techno music.
In 2004, Chicago named a street after Knuckles where the old Warehouse once stood, on Jefferson Street between Jackson Boulevard and Madison Street. The Illiniois state senator who helped make it happen whom now is the President of the United States, Barack Obama.
In 2005, Knuckles was inducted into the Dance Music Hall of Fame for his accomplishments.
Knuckles has transitioned from our “club house” to a “heavenly house”. His music will continue to inspire, teach through his vinyl creations that continues to transcends across many music genres.
January 18, 1955 – March 31, 2014
Discography of some of his creations:
“Rain Falls” (single)
“You Can’t Hide from Yourself” – CBS Records
“Tears” (single); Frankie Knuckles presents Satoshi Tomiie – FFRR
“Your Love/Baby Wants to Ride” – Trax Records
Beyond the Mix – Virgin Records
“The Whistle Song” – Virgin Records
Sessions Six – Mixed by Frankie Knuckles – Ministry of Sound
Choice: A Collection of Classics – Trax Records
“Keep on Movin'” – Definity Records
A New Reality – Definity Records
“Change” – Lisa Stansfield
“Power Of Love/Love Power” – Luther Vandross
“Left To My Own Devices” – Pet Shop Boys
“This Time” – Chanté Moore
“Happy” – Towa Tei
“Let No Man Put Asunder” – First Choice
“Ain’t Nobody” – Chaka Khan
“Watcha Gonna Do with My Lovin'” – Inner City
“Talking with Myself” – Electribe 101
“The Pressure” – Sounds of Blackness
“Where Love Lives (Come on In)” – Alison Limerick
“I Want a Dog” – Pet Shop Boys
“Notgonnachange” – Swing Out Sister
“Because of Love” – Janet Jackson
“Love Hangover” – Diana Ross
“Bring Me Love” – Andrea Mendez
“Rock with You” – Michael Jackson
“Scream” (remixed by Knuckles and David Morales) – Michael Jackson
“Thriller” (remixed by Knuckles and David Morales) – Michael Jackson
“You Are Not Alone” – Michael Jackson
“Closer Than Close” – Rosie Gaines
“Unbreak My Heart” – Toni Braxton
“Sunshine” – Gabrielle
“I’m Going to Go” – Jago
“Blind” – Hercules & Love Affair
“You’ve Got the Love” – The Source ft. Candi Staton
“Million Dollar Bill” – Whitney Houston
“Forever Came Today” – The Jackson 5 (Released On The Remix Suite)
“Wrong” – Depeche Mode