Current Location :: Chicago, USA
Music Genres ::Chicago House, House
Artist's DJ List & DJ Mag Rankings
DJ MagRanks :: (2010) N/A (2011) N/A (2012) N/A DJ List Ranks :: (Global) 10,504 (House) 2,690
Born and raised in the shadow of the
steel mills on the south side of Chicago, the legendary house
music DJ, producer and remixer Mickey Mixin' Oliver was destined
to help bring the underground sound of house music to the
masses. Working together with peers such as Jesse Saunders,
Steve "Silk" Hurley, Marshall Jefferson, and other
early innovators of house, Oliver put their groundbreaking
tracks on the airwaves and in the clubs, whipping his crowds
into a frenzy with his incredible DJ mixes. As such, Mickey
Mixin' Oliver was among the handful of visionary pioneers
who changed the course of dance music forever.
To talk about the history and significance of Mickey Mixin'
Oliver, one must first discuss the history of house music
itself. House music was the original "beat of the streets"
in the post-disco early 1980's. They were the urban underground
tracks, with signature "four on the floor" beats,
that directly spawned the original hip-hop, techno, trance,
drum 'n' bass, etc. Originally referred to as "records
laying around the house" the old Salsoul Records music
was the weapon of choice for the earliest house DJs, first
established most notably at the Warehouse nightclub in Chicago.
Enter the Hot Mix 5... As house music was starting to spread
in the clubs back in the early 1980's, an urban format radio
station, 102.7 fm WBMX was looking to become a force to be
reckoned with in the Chicago market. Program Director Lee
Michaels decided (correctly) that the best way to go about
it was to put together a group of the most talented and cutting
edge DJs around. Coming from a background of being the one
in charge of music for the entire chain of Smuggler's Inn
nightclubs, having mastered the art of reel to reel editing
as well as turntablism, and already having created the Master
Mix Medley for the prestigious Disconet Remix Service, Mickey
Mixin Oliver was the first mixmaster to be selected by Michaels
for this new concept. The others who joined him at WBMX was
Farley "Jackmaster" Funk, Kenny Jammin' Jason, Ralphi
"The Razz" Rozario, and Scott Smokin' Silz. Together
they comprised the very first major house music radio mixshow
team in the world, the now legendary Hot Mix 5, making people
"jack to the sound of the underground" from the
airwaves starting in the Summer of 1982.
The Hot Mix 5 set the standard for all others to follow,
pioneering many of the turntablism tactics that have since
influenced the best DJs even to this day, such as vinyl scratching,
beatmixing, quick edits, etc. Mickey Mixin' Oliver's DJ sets
were made even more memorable thanks to Rodney Dangerfield's
hilarious voiceovers. The famed members of the Hot Mix 5 also
had the distinction of taking house from the underground to
the masses, going way beyond the city limits of Chicago to
reach all corners of the globe! In fact, giant corporations
such as Miller Beer became early sponsors of the group, jumping
on the Hot Mix 5 bandwagon.
Using a drum machine for effect, Chicago's own Jesse Saunders
inadvertently created what was considered to be the very first
official production of a house
track, called "On & On" in 1983. Quick to support
Saunder's new track, Mickey Mixin' Oliver and the Hot Mix
5 included it in their highly influential mixshows, and following
Saunder's example, started producing house tracks of their
own, as well as remixing music for other recording artists
trying to get that all-important "street credibility."
Mickey Mixin' Oliver's first remix for another artist came
in 1985. It was for the Chi-Lites entitled "Bottom's
Up" which would be the first of many tracks by Oliver
to hit the coveted Top 10 Billboard charts. That was followed
up by his first originally produced house track "Breakin
Up / Breakin Down" for DJ International records, also
The year 1985 also saw Mickey Mixin' Oliver's reach on the
airwaves go way beyond the Chicago metro area. It was then
that he began his very first syndicated radio mixshow on Star
String Radio Network. That was ultimately followed by an opportunity
to mix on Satellite Music Network, a division of ABC where
Oliver was syndicated on over 100 stations from coast to coast!
At this point, labels and artists were commissioning the
highly sought-after Oliver and the rest of the Hot Mix 5 to
create numerous remixes and original music for them. With
that experience under their collective belt, it made sense
for them to go to the next level in music production. In 1986,
the legendary label of house music Hot Mix 5 Records was born!
It was Mickey Mixin' Oliver (in a collaborative effort with
a fellow named Grant) who released the first song on the new
label as MG2 with "My House Is Bigger Than Your House."
That was followed by Oliver's remixes for other artists on
the label, including the timeless "You Used To Hold Me"
by Ralphi Rosario, and productions under his own name, such
as what is perhaps considered to be Oliver's best known track,
the Billboard charting Speak 'n' Spell hit "In-Ten-Si-T."
As word of Mickey Mixin' Oliver's exciting DJ style and
Billboard charting tracks spread throughout the world, his
fans globally were clamoring to see the artist in action for
themselves. In 1987 Oliver appeared in Europe for the first
time, being invited back repeatedly since, and as evidence
of his popularity, the "much in demand" Oliver was
routinely booked for shows and massives in multiple cities
on the same day all over the UK. Spreading house music to
appreciative fans around the world culminated in Oliver's
performing at the mecca of dance music itself, the Balearic
Island of Ibiza!
1988 was a year of tremendous opportunity for Mickey Mixin'
Oliver. That was the year that the Hot Mix 5 went cross-town
to the more powerful WGCI. It was also the year that the Chicago
Bulls basketball legend himself, Michael Jordan, commissioned
Oliver to provide the music soundtrack to a documentary for
the Michael Jordan Foundation, for which Oliver wrote the
song "Pick Me Up." Offers by the sports world began
to follow. He edited the music for the Chicago Bulls Luvables
routines, and made the music spots for Sports Channel. Then
came an opportunity to score a hit movie, starring Arnold
Schwarzenegger and James Belushi. The movie was called Red
Heat, and it attained the number one spot at the box office!
The track that Oliver made especially for the movie was called
"Jackin National Anthem" which was played during
an aerobics scene.
Accomplishing everything he set out to do in Chicago, Mickey
Mixin' Oliver moved out west to the valley of the sun, Phoenix,
Arizona in 1991 to help found Powerhouse Remix Service, where
he used his hard won knowledge of DJing to create the best
DJ friendly remixes. Around that time he also teamed up with
Hot Mix Radio Network to put together the ten hour "Mix
Of The 80's."
Now, after taking a much-too-long hiatus from music, Mickey
Mixin' Oliver is making his reemergence back where he belongs,
behind the decks and in the production studio! He had already
begun production of his new dance album when, after a little
encouragement to perform live before the masses once again
by radio mainstay and event promoter Julian Jumpin' Perez,
Oliver appeared in Chicago for "Back To BMX" which
was the first ever reunion of the Hot Mix 5. He spun his trademark
old school set before 2000 cheering fans on June 7th, 2003,
which had reinforced his decision to follow his calling. Being
at the forefront of dance music!
Currently, Mickey Mixin' Oliver can be heard by his legions
of fans from coast to coast on Channel 62 "The Rave"
on Sirius Satellite Network, where the head of the channel,
Glen Friscia lauded Oliver by proclaiming, "...your mixes
are amazing and have enriched Sirius... you're an amazingly
talented DJ..." and Oliver is expected to tour in order
to excite crowds once again with his trademark hard and funky
house sets. Old friends who proudly name Oliver as a significant
influence to them, such as Bad Boy Bill and drum 'n' bass
queen DJ Rap, have been anxious to see him back in the dance
music arena once again. The respect for Oliver is heartwarming
to say the least. Also, be sure to look for Mickey Mixin'
Oliver's new dance project, expected to be released in the
first quarter of 2004. A real renaissance man when it comes
to his classic songwriting, Oliver features powerful female
vocals, and incorporates influences from house, trance, breaks,
and more. As for those who may not have heard of Mickey Mixin'
Oliver yet, if you're a fan of amazing DJ sets and world-class
productions, you'll be glad you discovered him this time around.
Artist's Web Links
Artist's Web Links
| Chicago & Acid
House Compilations :: Mickey
Mixin Oliver & Hot Mix 5