Watch CBS News

House music turns 40 this year. Here's how Chicago plans to honor the genre.

Celebrating 40 years of house music in Daley Plaza
Celebrating 40 years of house music in Daley Plaza 00:54

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Chicago is getting ready to celebrate 40 years as the birthplace of house music. On Tuesday, the city revealed plans for the big anniversary, turning Daley Plaza into a dance party.

Mayor Brandon Johnson and other city leaders were joined by house music DJs to announce a number of events planned for this year. These include a house music festival at Millennium Park, and a 40th anniversary house music parade on Aug. 31.

"God has been so good. We're still living, and we've been doing this over 40 years – over 40 years," said DJ and producer Farley Jackmaster Funk, who is credited with revolutionizing house music in the early 1980s. "Do you know most music genres don't stick around this long?"

Organizers on Tuesday also unveiled new street signs that will be put up honoring some of the city's house music heroes, including DJ Ron Hardy, singer Darryl Pandy, DJ PinkHouse, and DJ and producer Paul Johnson.

As noted in a Carnegie Hall history article, house music was built upon disco and electronic music and was propelled to the global stage, particularly from Chicago.

The House Music 40 website described house as "a new, raw, collaborative dance genre based on disco's BPMs and soulful R&B, with a dash of funk and gospel's electricity, stirred in a pot of electronically cooked beats and melodies."

The website noted that house music had been circulating on radio mix shows and in the underground on cassette and reel-to-reel tapes – until finally making its way onto vinyl records in 1984.

The story goes that the origins of the term "house music" come from The Warehouse in the West Loop, once known as a nightclub and haven for Black and Brown queer Chicagoans.

Frankie Knuckles, a New York transplant and openly gay man, became the resident DJ of the Warehouse. Amidst the public's growing disdain of disco in the late '70s, word-of-mouth spread about the underground scene at the Warehouse, where Knuckles was one of the first to blend soul, R&B, disco, electronic, and gospel, according to Preservation Chicago, Knuckles would go on to call house music "disco's revenge."

The building that once housed The Warehouse, at 206 S. Jefferson St., was named an official city landmark last year.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.