CHICAGO: Archive Opens Personal Record Collection Of Late DJ Frankie Knuckles For Public To Play [VIDEO]

Grammy-winning DJ Frankie Knuckles, known worldwide as “the Godfather of House,” died three years ago this month. But his personal record collection is now on display for the public to actually touch and play. MixMag reports:

With the record collection of Frankie Knuckles now at Theaster Gates’s Stony Island Arts Bank in Chicago, The Frankie Knuckles Foundation has shared a video expressing what they hope the archive stands for.

Knuckles set up The Frankie Knuckles Foundation later in his life in order to help support causes he felt strongly about, like LGBTQ rights, youth homelessness, music in schools and diabetes research. Today it also helps to educate people on Knuckles’ legacy.

Theaster Gates touched on the goal for Frankie Knuckles collection: “The collection is meant to be felt. Our hope is to attract world class DJs and local DJs, who are the scholars of house, and invite them to pump the music as hard as they can, to be in the spirit of Frankie Knuckles and share that with this neighborhood, our city and the world.”


RELATED: On the day that Frankie died, I shared this personal remembrance.

Shortly after I moved to NYC in the spring of 2001, I found myself alone as the packed Roxy wound towards the conclusion of its Saturday night. As I leaned on a railing above the dance floor to again ponder my decision to move across the country to a town where I only knew a handful of people, the DJ dropped the needle on the Frankie Knuckles classic The Whistle Song – a track that always did and always will evoke in me a contradictory sense of joy and melancholy – and probably the last song I needed to hear during that moment of self-pitying loneliness in a crowded nightclub.

I stood up straight, eyes closed, and clutched the rail tighter, overwhelmed with images of the lost men with whom I’d twirled to that song across the dance floors of Fort Lauderdale and Miami Beach. An older man nearby read my face and leaned over to cup a hand to my ear. Motioning to the dance floor, he half-shouted, “With such gorgeous music in the world, how can ANYBODY be unhappy?” Then he bounded alone onto the floor and began to twirl. As I walked out of the Roxy a few minutes later, still smiling, I vowed that one day I would tell that story to Frankie Knuckles, if I were to ever meet him. About one year later, I got that chance.