CHOSEN FEW DJ'S PRESENT...THE SAUERS REUNION PARTY

House music became a definitive sound for Chicago’s youth in the 1980s.  During that time, teenagers and young adults had safe spaces to party.  Sauer’s was one of those spaces.  According to Robert Williams, the legend responsible for opening the Warehouse and the Music Box, Sauers was originally an old carriage house that eventually became a restaurant that converted into a dance hall at night.   Sauers was known by many in Chicago for their Polo, Izod, and Pizza Fest “theme parties” and classic DJ battles.  The style of dress was preppy with clothing consisting of Izod and Polo Shirts, and K-Swiss gyms shoes amongst other things and the kids who attended these parties were teenagers and young adults enjoying those "wonder" years,  transitioning from teenagers to young adults.  Sauers hosted parties on Friday and Saturday nights to hundreds of Chicago teens and young adults.   Party Promoter, Reggie Corner, remembers the promotion that went into throwing these parties  “They came to Sauers from high schools all around the city, thanks to heavy promotion via flyers, posters and pluggers”.   In his book, "House Music...The Real Story",  Jesse Saunders, Chosen Few DJ and former Sauers DJ remembers the early days of promoting parties at Sauers and making sure the venue was packed each and every weekend. 

“We promoted our parties at Sauers like a well-oiled machine. I was in charge of the promotional team. I recruited Tony Hatchett, and we proceeded to hit every high school and college in town with flyers and posters.  We’d start around two in the morning, when the streets didn’t have much traffic, putting up posters on the street poles at the main intersections all over town. We would then get to a couple of schools each day upon students arrival to make sure that they each had a flyer in hand-flyers we called “pluggers”. After school, we’d hit them up again to make sure everyone was invited. It was tiring work, but we managed to get no less than 900 people out to Saucers every Friday and Saturday night”- Jesse Saunders, House Music...The Real Story

Chosen Few DJ, Alan King remembered Sauers fondly.  “It was an exciting time; it was a safe, non-violent space for us to gather and enjoy great music and have a good time”.   He echoes the sentiment expressed by party goer, Michelle Marsh, who reflected on her times at Sauers.   “We just danced.  We felt free; it was about the music and no judgement.  It was a community of kids who just loved to dance and party. “   It was a time before House music was called “house music”.  The kids enjoyed Disco, Punk and New Wave and had a venue that allowed them the freedom and space to be themselves. Songs like “Rock Lobster by the B-52s, “Whip it by Devo and Disco Classics filled the dancehall on Friday and Saturday nights.    Another partygoer, Charles Rodgers a/k/a Butch Cassidy, remembers the DJ’s that came to play at Sauers. “Andre and Tony Hatchet, Farley, Jesse Saunders, Wayne Williams and Steve Silk Hurley would keep us on the dance floor all night long!”  It was a time in House Music history that is beloved by those who were fortunate to be in attendance and it’s a venue etched in the hearts and memories of so many house people today.

The Chosen Few DJ’s consisting of Jesse Saunders, Andre and Tony Hatchett, Alan King, Terry Hunter, Wayne Williams and Mike Dunn,  hosted the “Sauers Reunion” party,  a tribute to that time when kids were coming of age to a sound that would eventually become the soundtrack of their lives.  Held at the Promontory in Hyde Park, the place was packed before 10pm, reminiscent of the days when clubs and party venues would be packed to capacity early.   The Chosen Few DJ’s went “old school” bringing crates of records that they played in the early days of house and the partygoers re-lived that feeling of being young and free on a dance floor.  The energy was infectious, and the music was reminiscent of the time, the Classic disco, punk, and new wave sound they had grown up with filled the atmosphere.  Each song, each track played by the Chosen Few took the crowd on a musical journey back to their youth and they danced, shouted and cheered with delight.   Party goers were giddy with excitement at how the Chosen Few DJ’s took them back to the place where they had spent many weekends partying, dancing and socializing with friends. 

Chosen Few djs play to a jam packed house Thanksgiving night.

As someone who was not old enough to attend Sauers, I reveled in the party’s energy and musical variety and found myself slightly jealous that I hadn’t been born earlier to have been a part of what seems to be such an exciting time.    As Alan King pointed out, “We were fortunate. We had these safe spaces, these non-violent spaces where we were able to just be kids, enjoying life, unsupervised for a few hours, blowing off steam ,dancing and partying the night away.  Kids don’t have those spaces now and it’s unfortunate”.  

I hope to see more parties like this in the city going forward.  It is so important that we honor and remember our history.  Chicago has such a rich history as being the birthplace of this music and culture.  I’d love to see a continuation of this tradition.  It connects the past to the future, especially for those of us who were too young to experience that magic.  Congratulations to the Chosen Few on an outstanding event honoring a time in house history that many will never forget and for allowing many like myself who weren’t there to enjoy “just a piece” of the magic of that time.  It was a perfectly magical evening, a brilliant melding of the past and the future. 

Until we meet again on a dance floor…

 

©Black Widow 2016

Chosen Few DJ's "Sauers Reunion" party!!! The crowd was loving it!!!

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Black Widow

D.Sanders, a Chicago native, is a devoted mother, blogger and writer who is passionate about her family, friends, women's rights, living authentically and telling her story.   She is also a spoken word recording artist under the name, Black Widow. She has been writing and blogging for over 15 years providing commentary and expressing thought on life, love and relationships. Her artistry can be heard on two house music singles, “Rough”, and “Gruv Me” released by Grammy Nominated Producer and CEO of T’s Box Records & T’s Crates, Terry Hunter under the production of Mike Dunn and Dee Jay Alicia. . Both singles reached #1 on Traxsource’s Afrohouse and charted top ten overall as well reaching the top ten in their year of release.  She splits her time blogging about the Chicago Dance Music Scene on www.blkwidowmusic.com and on her book’s website, www.thesumofmanythings.com.  She is excited about her debut book, The Sum of Many Things, scheduled for release in June 2017.   She wears many hats but refuses to be placed in a box.  She believes that women are "The Sum of Many Things".  Embracing all of her roles as a woman, she firmly believes in breaking free of preconceived notions of womanhood.   She believes it is her mission to define her own life experience, femininity and sexuality and not have it defined by society.  She openly shares her story with hopes that women understand their worth, power and place in this world.