“In The Beginning There Was Jack and Jack had a Groove” The House music gospel, The Preacher’s Anthem are just a few of the descriptions given to the now famous speech. Fans of House, Dance and other genres of music for that matter can most certainly finish the rest of the verse that Chuck “THE ORIGINAL VOICE OF HOUSE MUSIC ” Roberts so eloquently spoke on one of House Music’s most defining recordings. This is evident by the millions of YouTube plays and samples by all genres of DJ’s. This is proof of the power of those spoken words.
How it all started:
When: The year 1987
Where: A heavenly studio on the West side of Chicago
What: Chuck explained to his people spoken in a godly voice straight from the House Book of Genesis in omniscient detail of how house music was born and the impact on it has on your body and soul. Then Jack disappeared back into the heavens only to be heard all over the world but never seen. For you see in Jack’s realm there is no time. Since then House Heads have anticipated his return for 30 years to come into the presence of more knowledge and wisdom of Jack’s House.
Little did they know it was written for the year 2018 we would see the return of Jack and his soul stirring words of musical edification. “In The Beginning There Was Jack” was released on Ultra Music in 2018. Produced by Terry Hunter and also featuring Monique Bingham. This is a refreshed version of the original classic “My House”. Here are just a few of what the media articles and music industry Tastemakers have to say about the most prolific and iconic messages in dance music:
DJ Wayne Williams Sr. VP of A&R at RCA Records and world famous House Music DJ and Gatekeeper states “Chuck’s acapella is arguably the most important recording in house music history next to Marshall Jefferson’s “Move Your Body!”
With his proud voice as strong as ever, he is once again calling on audiences around the world to unite in a time of unthinkable struggles. His new 2020 inspirational track ‘I Choose To Live’ boldly states his refusal to bow down in fear, choosing instead to embrace life to the fullest. The rhythms are vibrant and hypnotic, filled with colorful melodies that remind us all that better times are on the way. No one knows when we will be able to dance together again, but as long as Chuck Roberts is making music, house fans all over the globe have something to unite around.
“IN THE BEGINNING, THERE WAS JACK, AND JACK HAD A GROOVE,
And from this groove came the groove of all grooves,
And while one day viciously throwing down on his box, Jack boldy declared,
“Let there be HOUSE!”and house music was born.
“I am, you see, I am the creator, and this is my house!
And, in my house there is ONLY house music.
But, I am not so selfish because once you enter my house it then becomes OUR house and OUR house music!”
And, you see, no one man owns house because house music is a universal language, spoken and understood by all.
You see, house is a feeling that no one can understand really unless you’re deep into the vibe of house.
House Music is an uncontrollable desire to jack your body.
And, as I told you before, this is our house and our house music.
And in every house, you understand, there is a keeper.
And, in this house, the keeper is Jack.
Now some of you who might be wondering,
“Who is Jack, and what is it that Jack does?”
Jack is the one who gives you the power to jack your body!
Jack is the one who gives you the power to do the snake.
Jack is the one who gives you the key to the wiggly worm.
Jack is the one who learns you how to walk your body.
Jack is the one that can bring nations and nations of all Jackers together under one house.
You may be black, you may be white; you may be Jew or Gentile. It don’t make a difference in OUR House.
And this is fresh!”
Lyrics: Rhythm Control – “My House” (vocal by Chuck Roberts) Catch A Beat Records ©1987
GO BANG! Magazine: Where are you from, where did you spend your childhood and where do you presently call home?
Chuck ‘The Voice’ Roberts: The West side of Chicago, IL and I currently reside in the Western Suburbs of Illinois.
GO BANG! Magazine: How did you receive vocal training as a child growing up, when did you first learn that your voice was distinct and unique, and when did you decide that you were interested in the music industry professionally?
Chuck ‘The Voice’ Roberts: At about six or seven my parents would take me around to sing in church! Then in the 7th grade, I joined the choir in school. Very few people knew that I could sing however, I ended up getting the solo lead for a school assembly. It was the theme song from the Broadway musical “Aquarius” and the song was “Let The Sun Shine In.” After that, I joined my first band at about 13 and we patterned ourselves after the Jackson Five and performed around the city. As fate would have it, we lost our rehearsal space, so my Dad gave us space at the church to use until we did the unthinkable. He thought we were practicing gospel music, but we made the mistake of playing “Black Magic Woman” by a Rock group named Santana!! Needless to say, that didn’t end well!
I went on to be a part of a Funk band called “Mister” which had some local fame with the record “I Wanna Thank You.” We later changed our name to The Verdict.
GO BANG! Magazine: When making “My House” who wrote those famous words that you “preached”, did you know at the time that those words would go down in House culture history, and how does it feel to be known as THE VOICE?
Chuck ‘The Voice’ Roberts: I wrote the words, but I actually spoke them before I wrote them. We did it in about five takes. At the time, I had no idea they would help define this genre of music we call “House.” I just wrote what I saw and felt was going on at the time throughout the city and in clubs like “Factory” on the West Side where I actually worked.
It’s very humbling to be called “The Voice” of House music. I had no idea it would lead to this.
GO BANG! Magazine: Many may think that they know your strong, powerful vocal sound, but they would be surprised to learn that your falsetto game is strong too. When do you plan to present THAT OTHER voice to the world?
Chuck ‘The Voice’ Roberts: Well, I have a current song out now on Ultra Records called “I Choose To Live” in which I showcase it. Additionally, I will have more music released in the very near future where I will show this side of me as well.
GO BANG! Magazine: Many people know that you are a singer, but many may not know that you are also a songwriter and producer. Can you please tell our readers about your musical background?
Chuck ‘The Voice’ Roberts: Yes, I have been on the writing and production side for many years. I directed choirs for many years, as well as helped develop many artists, most notably Danny Boy from Death Row Records, among others.
GO BANG! Magazine: We all know that you weren’t born House as a child, so what other types of music do you perform/produce, that prepared you for who you are today?
Chuck ‘The Voice’ Roberts: You are correct. I came on the scene during the Funk band era, so R&B and Gospel were my main focus for many years.
GO BANG! Magazine: I’m sure you’ve had a chance to perform overseas and in other countries. How are you received by foreign audiences and is there any difference than the love you get from U.S. audiences?
Chuck ‘The Voice’ Roberts: Yes, I have performed all over Europe and in Canada. My reception is great here in the U.S., however overseas it’s on a whole different level. They really embraced the “My House” speech and incorporated it in their everyday lives. It’s surreal because it often brings people to tears when they see me in person performing the speech. It’s very humbling. It’s still hard to believe the impact those words has had on people spanning over the past 30 plus years.
GO BANG! Magazine: I know you’re currently working on new music. One of those new songs is “All 4 One.” I’ve had the chance to sample it, as well as others, and they’re ALL HOT! Please tell our readers about that song, as well as any others that we should be on the lookout for.
Chuck ‘The Voice’ Roberts: “All 4 One” is a rally cry song for everyone, as it will take a collective effort to get through these trying times, now and in the future.
You should also be on the lookout for “Not The House That Jack Built” which will drop on August 7th. It’s a song produced by ATFC featuring yours truly. Again, it’s a song of inclusion and emphasizes that “it takes a village to get things done.” We are all in this together and it will take us all to get through.
As you know Chicago is also home of R&B Steppin’ music. I have a project coming soon in which I believe will be well received by the Steppin’ community.
GO BANG! Magazine: For our worldwide readers, many of whom are House here in Chicago the home of House music, how would you describe your style of music and how has the House culture influenced your sound?
Chuck ‘The Voice’ Roberts: I would best describe my style as inspirational and feel good music. In fact, this is the only type of music you will hear from me regardless of what genre it falls in. Music and my voice in particular is a gift from God and I must use it to uplift and encourage in every way I can. The House culture is very spiritual and uplifting for the most part, so yes this can’t help but surface in my recordings.
GO BANG! Magazine: As a multi-talented artist that can sing, write, and produce, I’m quite sure that you have other talents that you haven’t exposed to the public. What other artistic gifts are you blessed with?
Chuck ‘The Voice’ Roberts: Actually, I am an ordained minister and I can play the Congo’s.
GO BANG! Magazine: If you could work with anyone living or dead, who would it be?
Chuck ‘The Voice’ Roberts: Michael Jackson
GO BANG! Magazine: What are you working on now bro?
Chuck ‘The Voice’ Roberts: I have records currently out in multiple genres of House production. However, I’m working on a soulful house project at the moment.
GO BANG! Magazine: The COVID-19 pandemic has caught the world off guard. How are you personally dealing with it?
Chuck ‘The Voice’ Roberts: Well to be totally honest, I’ve fared pretty well. While lots of people were unsure about the future, my focus was a little different. I know that if I continue to live according to the word of God, I already know how my story ends and what the future holds! SO I’M STRAIGHT!
GO BANG! Magazine: Lastly, on May 25, 2020, George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, was killed in Minneapolis, Minnesota, during an arrest for allegedly using a counterfeit bill. Derek Chauvin, a white police officer, knelt on Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes while Floyd was handcuffed and lying face down, begging for his life and repeatedly saying “I can’t breathe.” This incident has caused civil unrest and massive protests across the world. How do you feel about this unfortunate situation and call for police reform due to the horrible treatment of minorities by the police?
Chuck ‘The Voice’ Roberts: I believe that anytime anyone who loses their life in such a manor, all parties involved should be held accountable. Those who are guilty of the crime should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law!
Our community is not anti-police we are anti-bad police. Cultural sensitivity training and new de-escalation tactics must be taught. Also, we live in the age of technology. So, there is no way we should not have better technology to take down or subdue without killing them, if the police feel they are being threatened.
You can find Chuck’s music on ALL streaming platforms.
Follow Chuck on Instagram @inthebeginning_chuckroberts
You should also be on the lookout for “Not The House That Jack Built” which will drop on August 7th. It’s a song produced by ATFC featuring Chuck. It’s a song of inclusion and emphasizes that “it takes a village to get things done.”
Check out Chuck performing his famous speech in Malmo Sweden: https://vimeo.com/373876799?fbclid=IwAR3RWz4tHlOBo4YJMX_Ub7me53x_JlXCa1QISeHBC_nUD4Y1dbv2nPDJhbI
Pierre A. Evans is a freelance writer of Entertainment, Music, Art, Culture, Fashion and Current Events, and previously for SoulTrain.com, NDigo.com, ChicagoDefender.com, EmpireRadioMagazine.com, and UrbanMuseMag.com, an author, singer/songwriter, actor, model, poet, dancer, and DJ. He is also the owner of Pinnacle Entertainment Productions. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter, and on Instagram