Although he may not be as talked about as his Detroit peers and fellow 3 Chairs collaborators Kenny Dixon Jr. and Theo Parrish, there’s no doubting Rick "The Godson" Wilhite’s position as one of the central characters in the city's house music heritage. The record store was his first step along the way, and after learning the ropes of the vinyl industry via his job at Buy-Rite Music, he set about becoming a shop proprietor in his own right. The House Of Music was his first venture, and up until its closure late last year, he was the owner of Vibes New and Rare Music.
Though his work behind the counter may be a thing of the past, his work behind the mixing desk certainly isn't. His sporadic sample-heavy singles for KDJ and most recently Stilove4music have become sought after slabs of wax, changing hands for serious amounts of money on sites like Discogs and eBay, yet fans looking to get a slice of Wilhite's production talent will be able to do so at a much more reasonable rate when he drops his debut solo album in the coming months. The final string to his bow is his skill behind the decks, with his much-refined turntable technique working in tandem with an enviable knowledge of disco, house and techno. He’s also not one to shy away from sharing his wisdom, taking a pre-teen Kyle Hall aside to school him on the finer points of deep house. This week’s RA podcast sees Wilhite share his musical tastes with a much wider audience, taking in various flavours of house and disco as well as new material from both himself and Theo Parrish. We spoke to Rick by e-mail to ask him about the mix, his nickname and some tips for upcoming Detroit artists.
What have you been working on recently?
A 12-inch collaboration with Mike Huckaby, Rick Wade, and Norm Talley on Third Ear Records, remastered and special mixes of The Godson EP's "Drum Patterns And Memories" and "Dreams Of Yesterday" on Rush Hour Records, a Vibes New and Rare Music compilation that features Detroit and Chicago and DC artists, and my LP called Analog Aquarium which is due out soon.Where and how was the mix recorded?
The mix was done at WMIX studio, and that would be the basement of my home in lovely Detroit. It was recorded live with two 1200s, a Numark 1975 PPD and a host of Vega speakers with plenty of power.Can you tell us a little about the idea behind the mix?
The idea was to be spontaneous with the mix. I never know what i'm going to play - I just feel it and do it. I wanted to keep recording, but I know the show has other programing so I... Well, you know, I moved it to another gig that night...So many people talk about what's bad about Detroit these days. What's going on in the city that you're excited about?
I'm excited about the positive people that are still moving and shaking this city hard with great gigs, and all of the out of town DJs that come in for a taste of Detroit's night life.
There's been a lot of talk about Kyle Hall recently as an upcoming Detroit producer. Who else is under the radar in the city in your opinion?
Upcoming out from the D would be two guys I have been working with already, and they would be TJ Dumas and DJ RayBone. You can find new material of them on my compilation, and a couple on Still 4 Love edits label.Tell about the origins of the Godson nickname.
The Godson is a powerful name to carry, I know, but trust me I have time and the knowledge and the experience of this industry to handle such a name. My life is this, I know I don't have much time to really detail this but when I can sit down and talk about it in depth we would definitely need a whole show. Over 25 years of service to music industry. Music is the key of life, dancing is way of the world... Godson quote.What are you up to next?
Next up is the next tribute party to The Electrifying Mojo on November 17th at Bert's Eastern Market Place in Detroit, and if you don't know who the Electrifying One is, come to tha D and get aboard the Mothaship and prepare for flight!
Femi Kuti – Blackman Know Yourself (Slam Mode Historical Mix) – Barclay
Specter – Body Fusion - Downbeat
Kush – Untitled – CDR
Larry Heard – Riverside Drive – Trackmode
Theo Parrish feat. Bill Beaver – U Bring Me Up - Sound Signature
Rick Wilhite – Analogue Love - White Label
Osunlade feat Erro – Everything In Its Right Place - Downbeat
Actress – Ghosts Have A Heaven – Prime Numbers
Giorgio Moroder – From Here To Eternity – Oasis
Herb Alpert – Beyond - A&M
Jerome Sydenham & Dennis Ferrer – Sandcastles - Ibadan Records
KORA – Untitled – CDR
Glenn Underground – Jive Assing (GU's Raw Dub) - Need2Soul
Gene Farris – The Spirit - Farris Wheel
Patti Labelle – The Spirit's In It - PIR