The 31st of March is a special and bittersweet date for house music fans all over the world. I still remember exactly where I was in Chicago two years ago when the city and the world were hit with the heart-breaking news that Frankie Knuckles, The Godfather of House, had passed away due to complications linked to a diabetes conditions.
At first the date became symbol of loss, but it has since evolved to a day of celebration for the immense legacy Frankie has left behind. His contributions to the world of dance and electronic music span four decades. Frankie was born in the Bronx in New York City and later moved to Chicago, following his work with the influential Larry Levan – a childhood friend and fellow DJ. He played a pivotal role in the development and popularization of house music in Chicago in the late 70’s and early 80’s, his impact continuing right up until the sad day of his passing as a world-touring DJ and resident at the iconic Smart Bar Chicago.
Last year, two special celebrations in Frankie’s honor were held at Gramaphone Records and Smart Bar Chicago, both broadcast by Boiler Room with music by The Black Madonna, Hyperactive, Derrick Carter, Michael Serafini, Gene Farris, Mike Dunn, Jamie 3:26, Andrew Emil, Alan King and Elbert Phillips. Energetic, electric, passionate and bustling with emotions, both events were both a tribute and a party in his honor. The poster from that day hangs in my living room and will forever be a part of my home.
While Frankie’s career certainly dates back to years that precede the advent of social media, cellphones and the easy access to video recordings, we are lucky enough to have several videos that immortalize who he was as a man and artist. Herein, I have compiled some of the best Frankie Knuckle moments ever caught on video with the aim to provide a small glimpse into the dance floors and lives he shaped across the years.
While these clips only provide a small look into Frankie’s world, they also serve as a reminder of the decades of influence and happiness he spread thanks to his music and infectious personality. He continues to touch the lives of millions every day, and will continue to do so for countless years to come.
Thank you #FKAlways.
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