Home News The house music boom of Chicago’s sock hops: an excerpt from Emma...

The house music boom of Chicago’s sock hops: an excerpt from Emma Warren’s Dance Your Way Home

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School dances, or ‘sock hops’ in the gradually disappearing terminology of the 1950s, were standard fare across the U.S, although Mendel High students in the early-to-mid 1980s had access to unimaginable levels of musical excellence; the dance music equivalent of having Jean-Michel Basquiat drop into your after-school art club, or Serena Williams cover Friday afternoon PE. Mendel was a popular boys’ only fee-paying Catholic High School located at 111th and King Drive in the historically Black area of South Side Chicago and the city’s best DJs played at the school’s Bi-Level parties. These included Warehouse resident Frankie Knuckles, Ron Hardy, and the city-famous Hot Mix 5 DJs, who reached a million listeners a week….

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