The True King Of House Music
When a new style of music first cracks the pop charts, the hit is usually a deliberate crossover by an artist having little to do with the music's original pioneers. The first house single to reach the charts, however, was recorded by seminal Chicago DJ and producer, Farley Jackmaster Funk. His cover of Isaac Hayes' "Love Can't Turn Around" made the Top Ten in mid-1986 - ironically, not in his home country but in the U.K. - at the same time that he was one of the biggest names in Chicago house. Born in 1962, Farley began DJing while still a teenager.
He first made his name in 1981, broadcasting on Chicago's WBMX-FM with Ralphi "The Razz" Rosario, Kenny "Jammin" Jason, Mickey "Mixin" Oliver and Scott "Smokin" Sils as the Hot Mix 5 - the legendary DJ team which broke house music for a wider Chicago audience. Farley also appeared at the legendary Warehouse club (mixing alongside Frankie Knuckles) and then began a residency at the Playground (later the Candy Store) which set in stone his reputation as one of the city's top DJs.
Known as Farley Keith or Farley Funkin' Keith up to that point, he began recording in 1984 with the single "Jack the Bass," which inaugurated the highly popular jacking craze in Chicago house. After two more singles ("Funkin' with Drums Again," "Give Yourself to Me") for Trax Records, he re-christened himself Farley Jackmaster Funk and released "Love Can't Turn Around," with vocals by Darryl Pandy (often mistaken for Farley on the accompanying video). The single hit the number nine spot on the British pop charts and stunned hundreds of Chicagoans, who had no idea their records were becoming popular across the ocean.
"Love Can't Turn Around" wasn't followed by any other big international hits - "As Always" made a brief U.K. entry in 1989, while "It's You" was a local club draw - and by the late '80s, he had lost his DJ residency as well. Fortunately, Farley made a smooth transition to an even more lucrative sport - the global DJ circuit, where the prospect of hearing an American original brought thousands of club-goers.
Â He also recorded new material on Terry Hunter label T's Box, "I Am A House Head" which gained international exposure last summer and was a new house phrase used throughout the digital promotional world. Once again Farley Jackmaster Funk is currently hard at work with his five-oh(50th) birthday party, and hosting numerous event in Chicago.
Selected discography Farley Jackmaster Funk
Jack Master Funk* / Jack Master Dick* - Jack The Bass / Jack The Dick - Trax Records 1985
Farley Jackmaster Funk - Funkin With The Drums Again - Trax Records 1985
Farley Jackmaster Funk - Aw Shucks (Let's Go Let's Go) - House Records 1985
Farley "Jackmaster" Funk & Jessie Saunders* - Love Can't Turn Around (Remix) - House Records 1986
The Rude Boy - Give Your Self To Me - Trax Records 1986
Darryl Pandy With Farley Jackmaster Funk - Free Man - D.J. International Records 1987
Farley "Jackmaster" Funk & Shy Boyz, The - U Ain't Really House - House Records
Farley Jackmaster Funk* / Ricky Dillard - It's U (12") - D.J. International Records 1987
Farley "Jackmaster Funk"* Presents Ricky Dillard - As Always - Trax Records 1988
Farley Jackmaster Funk - U Ain't Really Acieed (House) - BCM Records 1988
Farley Jackmaster Funk* & Hip House Syndicate, The - Free At Last - Champion 1989
Farley Jackmaster Funk* Presents Precious Red - Think! - Champion 1989
Farley "Jackmaster" Funk Presents Xaviera Gold - Hold Me Again - House Records 1991
Farley Jackmaster Funk* / Housemaster Boys* - Love Can't Turn Around / Housenation - Trax Records 1993
Farley "Jackmaster" Funk featuring Ti-Ty-Rone - Pray 4 Me - 4 Liberty Records Ltd 1994
Farley Jackmaster Funk - Another Day - 4 Liberty Records Ltd 1995
Farley Jackmaster Funk - The Resurrection EP - Renegade Records 1996
Farley Jackmaster Funk feat. Billy Monroe - I'm A House Head - T's Box 2011