today in dance history : happy birthday john rocca!


John Rocca (born 23 September 1960, London, England) first became known as a dance music performer, remixer and record producer. In the early eighties, John Rocca formed, played with, wrote for, produced and managed his first musical vehicle Freeez to various successes. After his first self funded and self released effort; Keep in Touch hit number 1 in the UK Blues & Soul Magazine Dance Charts and 49 in the United Kingdom Gallup charts – partly via sales from the back of a van – his next effort, Southern Freeez by Freeez—now a Jazz Funk Classic—was not only a UK Blues & Soul Dance Chart number 1 but a pop chart hit in various other countries around Europe topping the United Kingdom Gallup Charts at number 8.

In 1983 John’s Falsetto voice and one of the first records to use digital sampling—”IOU” by Freeez—became one of the dance anthems of the eighties electro music dance scene. It reached number one in dance charts in Europe and the US Billboard Hot Dance Music/Club Play and had pop chart success across the world spending 3 weeks at number 2 in the a United Kingdom Gallup Charts. As a solo artist John Rocca hit the number one spot yet again, this time with I Want It To Be Real, number 1 on the US Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart in 1984. After these and various other successes John went on to engineer, produce and mix for various other artists as well as recording under his own name and many other pseudo names. John Rocca retired from the music business in 1993. His last recording, under the pseudonym Midi Rain, John wrote, played all of the instruments, recorded, engineered, produced, and mixed all of the songs. Midi Rain topped the Billboard US Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart with the album Shine, which hit number one in 1993.

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