An Oral History of House Music

After Beyoncé’s Grammys speech thanking the queer community for creating house music, NPR’s Throughline gathered quotes and anecdotes from various conversations to create a kind of oral history of the genre which began in Chicago in the late 1970s and early ’80s, thanks to Black and mostly gay DJs. The article includes significant moments for the genre: Frankie Knuckles moving to Chicago, the iconic Warehouse club, Jesse Saunders’ 1984 bop “On & On” (often considered the first house music track) and the rise of genres like acid house, trance and drum and bass in the 1990s. Stories and thoughts from Vince Lawrence, Lori Branch, Lady D and others illustrate the ways house is both a worldwide cultural phenomenon and a deeply personal one. “When you really listen to the range of what is in house,” Meida McNeal says, “musically, sonically, but also in the lyrics, you know, it is telling stories of love.” Read (and hear) more at NPR.

Image courtesy of Jes Say Records