In April 2014, electronic music lost one of its most impactful founding fathers when Frankie Nicholls died at the age of 59. As Frankie Knuckles, Nicholls was one of house music’s most influential progenitors. Deemed “The Godfather of House,” Frankie Knuckles served as the musical figurehead of the genre’s seminal venue, Chicago’s fabled Warehouse.
Legendary in both life and death, Nicholls is deservedly one of dance music’s most decorated figures. Nicholls’ contributions to house’s formation earned him, among many other honors, a Grammy and a spot in the Dance Music Hall of Fame. In 2004, then-Illinois Senator Barack Obama famously played a role in helping to rename the Chicago street where the Warehouse once reigned “Frankie Knuckles Way.” Chicago still recognizes Obama’s decree that August 24 be known as “Frankie Knuckles Day” evermore.
Today, January 18, 2017, would have been Nicholls’ 62nd birthday. In honor of the late legend’s birthday, we encourage readers to listen to Frankie Knuckles’ final recorded mix. Performed at Winter Music Conference in Miami on March 22, 2014, Nicholls’ two-hour set serves as a stunning reminder of how much influence the Chicagoan pioneer had on the music which pervades club culture in the modern day.
Happy birthday, Frankie.