Current Location :: Deceased (RIP) Music Genres ::Chicago House
Artist's DJ List & DJ Mag Rankings
DJ MagRanks :: (2010) N/A (2011) N/A (2012) N/A DJ List Ranks :: (Global) 2,122
Ron Hardy is the only man who can test
Frankie Knuckles' status as the godfather of Chicago house
Though he never recorded under his own
name and left little evidence of his life, Hardy was the major
name for Chicago dance music from the late '70s to the mid-'80s.
By 1974, he had already effected a continuous music mix with
reel-to-reel machines plus a dual-turntable setup at the club
Den One. Several years later, Hardy played with Knuckles at
a club called the Warehouse and though he spent several years
in Los Angeles, he later returned to Chicago to open his own
club, the Music Box.
While Knuckles was translating disco and the emerging house
music to a straight, southside audience at the Power Plant,
Hardy's 72-hour mix sessions and flamboyant party lifestyle
fit in well with the uptown, mostly gay audience at the Music
Box. A roll-call of major Chicago producers including Marshall
Jefferson, Larry Heard, Adonis, Phuture's DJ Pierre and Chip
E all debuted their compositions by pressing up acetates or
reel-to-reel copies for Hardy to play during the mid-'80s.
Lingering problems with heroin addiction forced him to leave
the Music Box around 1986 and though he continued to DJ around
the area, Hardy wasn't around when Chicago became house music's
mecca later in the decade. He died in 1991.
Deejay Ron Hardy died in 1991, and that's the only reason
why he's not a star today. With the clubs he's been spinning
for (especially the Muzic Box from 1983 to 1988), he was drawing
the way of the new sounds of the night. Something was definitely
changing, and he was part of the change. You know that one
day 'Jack Has a Groove'... but did you really know when late
Disco turned into early House music Ron Hardy was it. Icon
of the gay House nights of Chicago, that man was a deejay
like some others are monk... it was everything for him, a
sort of religion. Mixing speedy electro-pop with accelerated
disco, edited disco-classics with acid tracks, when other
deejays used to mix it warm... he used to mix it cold. One
of his very close friends told me that he was almost never
sleeping... mixing records all the time, doing weird things
with his turntables. There was about nothing in his appartment,
nothing but black shiny records, and a bed... and that for
years since the 70's when he left for westcoast, the 80's
when he came back to Chicago, until 91 when everything stopped.
Too much drugs and awaken nights... he killed his own batteries
for the music.