- Disco / Cosmic
R.D.Y. represents the platform who exclusively release Ron Hardy’s work.
Ron Hardy (8 May 1958 - 2 March 1992) was a Chicago DJ and producer of early house music. He is well known for playing records at the Muzic Box, a Chicago house music club. Decades after his death, he also is recognized for his edits and mixes of disco, soul music, funk and early house music (sometimes known as Chicago deep house).
Ron Hardy is the only man who can test Frankie Knuckles' status as Godfather of Chicago House Music.
Though he rarely recorded under his own name and left little evidence of his life, Hardy was the major name for Chicago's 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 along with Robert Williams, 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.
Lately, there has been a renewed interest in Ron Hardy's legacy as a DJ. In 2004, two bootleg 12" records were released with "Ron's edits" and in 2005, Partehardy Records, run by his nephew Bill released authentic edits not heard in over 20 years. There is also another bootleg series of edits called "Music Box", containing either genuine Ron Hardy re-edits or tributes by other DJs imitating his editing style. DJ Theo Parrish also made a series of tribute-remixes called "Ugly Edits" some of which bear a striking resemblance to Hardy's re-edits. These have been bootlegged too. Some of DJ Harvey's Black Cock edits records are tributes to Hardy's edits as well.
In addition to his DJ mixes, long-buried original productions have also come to light—among them, "Throwback 87", a collaboration between Ron Hardy and Gene Hunt.