DJ and record collector Dez Parkes has died

He was dubbed the "walking encyclopedia of music"

DJ and record collector Dez Parkes has died.

Friend Fitzroy Anthoney Facey, who is also director of The Soul Survives Magazine, confirmed Parkes’ death over the weekend. It is unclear at this stage what caused his death.

“It’s with our deepest sorrow that we inform you of the death of our beloved friend, the legendary Dez Parkes, our brother in music who sadly passed away today,” Facey posted on Facebook.

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“The family are still processing this massive loss so please respect their privacy at this sad time”.

It is with our deepest sorrow that we inform you of the death of our beloved friend the legendary Dez Parkes, our…

Posted by Fitzroy Anthoney Facey on Friday, November 11, 2022

Parkes began DJing at Soho venue Whisky A Go Go in the 1970s, before teaming up with Trevor Shakes to launch Spats, the UK’s first club dedicated to underground boogie music.

In 1987, he was approached by RCA Records to curate ‘Rare’, a series of compilations responsible for kickstarting the rare groove revival.

He went on to helm a handful of other notable compilations, including ‘Motown Rare Grooves’, ‘The Best Of Pleasure’ and ‘Mastercuts’.

He was dubbed the “walking encyclopedia of music” by friends after three decades of working and mentoring in dance music, according to Mixmag.

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Many fellow DJs and friends paid tribute to the late DJ with broadcaster Mark Webster writing: “Just heard of the sad passing of Dez Parkes. Hero on the dance floor, aces behind the decks, a man who knew his boogie tunes, and who helped keep the memory of his mate Laurie Cunningham alive (see @D1fferentClass brilliant book).”

Fellow DJ Lorraine King added: “Dez Parkes was one of the most respected soul DJs in the country & one the UK’s most knowledgeable sources of music information. He was also one of the driving forces behind the RARE LP series which introduced many to the rare groove genre. RIP Sir & thank you for the music.”

Another wrote: “My heart is broken once again. Rest in peace Dez Parkes. You may not have heard of him, but without him you wouldn’t have heard of a lot of artists and he helped launch many careers including mine.”

You can view a host of tributes below:

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