House music was born in Chicago in the early 1980s. Where it emerged from disco, which had been popularized by Afro American and gay communities in New York City and San Francisco.


House music was born in Chicago in the late ‘70s begin ‘80s. The name House music originated from “The Wherehouse in Chicago. The newly created genre emerged directly from Disco music which had been popularized by gay communities in New York City and San Francisco. Where Disco music was more focused on live instruments, House music on the other hand was more synthesizer and drum computer based. The failed attempt of Roland to create “real” sounding drum machines like the TR-808 and TR-909 and synthesisers made it easy for young creatives such as Frankie Knuckles to start experimenting with the creation of house music.

House music developed during the post-disco era in an underground scene on the West Side of Chicago, Illinois. It was initially popularized by Frankie Knuckles, who hosted an influential radio show at the club The Warehouse. As more DJs began to play house music at local dance clubs such as The Power Plant and The Muzic Box, it gained popularity throughout Chicago’s gay community. In 1984 a former janitor named Jesse Saunders released an unlikely hit called “On and On”. The song became a local club hit thanks to its mellow shuffle beat and minimalist sound; it helped launch the careers of many house music producers and DJs.

The sound of Chicago

The first house song ever recorded was “On & On,” which was released by Jesse Saunders’ group First Choice in 1980. This song was released as part of an album called Love Can’t Turn Around (1980). The album also featured another classic house song: “Love Is the Message.”