I.T. Radio: Live from Chicago with Robert Williams

IT interviews the man who brought Frankie Knuckles to Chicago and changed dance music forever, plus guests Ron Trent and John Collins.

This special edition of BMG and Erika’s radio broadcast comes not from our radio studios in Detroit but from Chicago’s dance-music bastion smartbar, in front of a live studio audience at the Windy City’s Red Bull Music Festival. The episode explores the origins of house music by way of one of its unsung originators, Robert Williams, the former New York truancy officer who busted Larry Levan and Frankie Knuckles before taking them under his wing. After talking to Williams about New York City, his move to Chicago and opening the Warehouse, they’ll be joined by Ron Trent, who will help tell the story of the Muzic Box, the near-mythic club Williams opened in the ’80s that launched the short but profoundly influential career of DJ Ron Hardy. With John “Jammin” Collins (a longtime Detroit DJ, key Underground Resistance affiliate and fellow Red Bull Radio host), they’ll also discuss the primacy of the Chicago scene, and how it helped shape Detroit’s major contributions to dance music. This is a rare opportunity to learn about one of the wilder footnotes in music history, straight from the source.