After the ‘Disco Sucks’ campaign the disco music scene truly faced some tough times and it was clear to see that it would soon be heading for its downfall. Steve Dahl had truly made a massive dint in the music scene, Middle America had indeed deemed Disco music unworthy of their attention choosing instead to opt for rock music, record labels shut of their disco segments and mainstream radio stations stopped giving airplay to disco records. On the mainstream stage things quickly went downhill for disco music who’s Dj’s were now finding it hard to push records or find jobs in upscale night clubs , disco returned to where it first began the underground warehouse parties. DISCO LIVED ON.
Frankie Knuckles – The Warehouse
In 1977 a young music promoter saw potential in the disco club scene and disco found its salvation in brand new night club called the warehouse managed by Robbie Williams who brought in Frankie Knuckles as the premier and headlining DJ. It wasn’t long before it attracted the attention of fans of the genre everywhere. This was due to the fact that at the time it was the only place doing that kind of music. The Warehouse quickly grew to prominence and even to this date is thought of by many as the official birth place of House Music and its premier DJ usually referred to as the ‘godfather of house music’. The night club and the dj (prodigy to legendary dj Larry Levan) took the entire scene by storm and it was said that when fans would request for disco records at record stores they would refer to them as “Can I please have that warehouse music”.
When people recall their time at the warehouse it seems that what stands out the most is how ethnically and sexually diverse the night club was. It brought people from all cultures and races and sexuality attracting white, black Latino, straight, rich, poor, middle class etc. Many say that it was a type of place where everyone and anyone felt accepted that it wasn’t about where you were from or who you were but more about the music. A generation raised on homophobic beliefs would come to see themselves mixed with a crowd of gay people and not mind, a generation raised on racist values would see themselves mix with men/women from other races and not mind. Although the majority of the group were that of a gay, African American or Latino persuasion the warehouse brought people from all walks and made them fall in love with the disco music culture. It was an instant hit with the people and Frankie Knuckles didn’t spare the crowd as he was said to play classics and without fail get the crowd moving. In short the DJ was a sensation.
The Warehouse Gives its name to House Music– As Disco music soared in the Heart of Chicago it quickly started to evolve into its own distinctive style, for any DJ looking specifically for a Chicago style disco record the term they would use was not ‘disco’ but they would refer to it as that ‘warehouse sound’. The most popular place in the whole Chicago to get these records was a store called imports etc, which dealt not exclusively but largely in disco records. After hearing the underground sound at The Warehouse fans would request for ‘that warehouse music’ owners of the store say that after a while fans stopped referring it to as Warehouse music and instead shortened the name to simply ‘House Music’ this is where it got its name from and this is why we called it HOUSE MUSIC. The end. goLDie.
- History of House Music (Chapter 1) -Dj Larry Levan x Paradise Garadge (thehousemason.wordpress.com)
- History of House Music (Chapter 1.2) – Steve Dahl x Disco Demolition night. (thehousemason.wordpress.com)
- Frankie Knuckles_ (thehousemason.wordpress.com)
- Larry Heard (aka Mr.Fingers)_ (thehousemason.wordpress.com)
- Mix of the Day – Frankie Knuckles (habitclub.co.uk)
- Q & A With Deep House Legend Kerri Chandler_ (thehousemason.wordpress.com)
- Dj Database_Eats Everything (thehousemason.wordpress.com)
- Carl Cox_ (thehousemason.wordpress.com)
- Origins of House Music (originsofhousemusic.wordpress.com)