R.I.P. Frankie Knuckles (Jan. 18, 1955 - March 31, 2014)
CONSIDERED by many to be the Godfather of House Music, Frankie Knuckles' tenure as the resident DJ at The Warehouse in Chicago between 1977 and 1982 helped lay the foundation for modern club music. Expanding on the 4/4 blueprint that was the soundtrack to nightclubs at the time, it was the man born Francis Nichols' incorporation of the core elements of disco, along with soul, R&B and pop, that would establish house music's identity. His DJ style, his original tracks and his approach to remixes shaped house music as we know it today.
Like pioneer Larry Levan in New York, Knuckles brought together people from all over Chicago to hear his unique take on the music that would rule nightclubs for the next three decades. Knuckles was not only a groundbreaking DJ, he was also a respected producer who contributed to house music's legacy and also pushed the notion of the remix into new territory. Knuckles would lend his skills to remixes of superstars including Michael Jackson, the Pet Shop Boys, Luther Vandross, Diana Ross and Depeche Mode. He was awarded a Grammy in 1997 and was inducted into the Dance Music Hall of Fame in 2005.
Knuckles, who has been battling complications from diabetes for the last few years passed away suddenly on March 31. His last performance would be at London's Ministry of Sound only a few days before his death. You can download a classic Knuckles' set from 1990 that was recorded at the Sound Factory in New York.
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Anthony Augustine is a freelance music, technology and pop culture writer who spends way too much time in front of a computer. Got a site you think he should see? Email him at email@example.com or follow him at twitter.com/anthonya.