Dance Mania Founder Ray Barney’s New Life

Ghetto House is for your mind, your body and your soul.

New Life is the only health food store in North Lawndale.

New Life is also owned by Ray Barney – founder of the legendary Dance Mania Records.

Ray Barney has always been regarded as one of the good guys of Chicago’s house music scene. Just ask anyone who did business with Dance Mania over the years. I’ve talked to many, and have never heard a bad word said about Ray, which is an extraordinary accomplishment among labels founded in the first groundswell of Chicago house. The Barney family had deep roots in the record scene and even deeper ones in the community.

He’s also a good guy in his neighborhood. “I try to be a positive force by showing that black businesses can survive in the neighborhood,” he says. “You usually don’t find a health food store smack dab in the middle of the ‘hood.”

The short feature about Ray Barney and New Life was produced by Free Spirit Media, which “provides teens and young adults in communities of color on Chicago’s West and South sides with a comprehensive foundation in media literacy and hands-on media production experience.”

h/t Parris Mitchell.