Henry Stone To Larry Newton on Ray Charles: “Get a Fuckin Pen Right Now and Sign Him Immediately!!!”
“I distributed ABC Paramount Records and I was very very close with Larry Newton, who was Vice President and ran the company along with Sam Clarke. Larry and I were very very close cause I was his distributor. I sold his records. I made him money. He made me money. It was great. I loved distributing cause that’s how I made my bread, dig?
One day, I was riding up LeJeune Road on my way to my office in Hialeah when I got a call. I actually had one of the first car phones ever made. It was a big phone and I was on the phone all the time, all these things happening around me, so, I get this phone call from Larry Newton. He used to call me Hendry.
He said, “Hendry, you ever hear Ray Charles?”
I say, “What are you outta your fuckin mind?”
He ‘s like, “I heard of him, but what? Is he great? I’m here with Joe Glaser. He said Ray’s contract is up with Atlantic Records. Should I sign him?”
I said, “Get a fuckin pen right now and sign him immediately!!!”
Of course, ABC Paramount signed Ray Charles and the first record he puts out I ordered 26,000 copies. It was, ” I Can’t Stop Loving You.”
I busted that motherfucker wide open. It’s the truth, man, this is what happened, this is what I did. I did these things. They know.
I was a big distributor. To be in that business, man, a lot of guys start up a record company, have a hit, and go out of business. I had a good living as a distributor, but I still loved to make records. But I still had to keep everything going, and that’s why all my distribution business I called “Other People’s Money.” Cause other people were paying for the pressings, the promotion, and everything else.
Meanwhile, in my free time, instead of playing golf I made records. I was a 24-7 guy. That’s what I did.”
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