Francis Nicholls aka Frankie Knuckles played an important role in developing and popularising house music in Chicago during the 1980s and even after his death just over a year ago, archive footage of the man still has people transfixed.
Knuckles was affectionately coined ‘The Godfather of House Music’ and reworked tracks from Michael Jackson, Luther Vandross and Diana Ross to Eternal and Toni Braxton. He was also featured in Josell Ramos’s documentary film Maestro back in 2003 wherein he opened up about friend and fellow DJ Larry Levan and his drug addictions, which ultimately contributed to his early death in 1992.
“Larry enjoyed doing drugs. This is probably something people don’t want to talk about and nobody wants to hear about… but Larry enjoyed drugs… like a kid with a toy. I don’t think he realised how much damage it could do to him,” he says.
“No matter how bad people may have spoken about him, that room was packed and even if he didn’t show until… 9 o’clock in the morning… they still waited for him.”
Watch the clip from Maestro below:
Upon the first year anniversary of Knuckles’ death this year influential UK house label Defected Records announced that they will release House Masters Frankie Knuckles, a charity record with 100% of the proceeds going directly towards The Frankie Knuckles Fund/Elton John AIDS Foundation.
The 2-disc compilation is due to be released some time this year.