Henry Stone On BILLBOARD’s Bill Wardlow: “I Told Him I Need That Number One Spot”

bill wardlow

Bill Wardlow in BILLBOARD Magazine 1975

“A real situation I had with Billboard is this. I was very tight with Billboard Magazine in the disco era because the editor was Bill Wardlow. He was the cat in charge of the POP charts for Billboard and he was a big disco freak.

That’s why in the 70s when he was the head of that whole department there a lot of the disco records made the charts . This is before they were considered so called disco trash, whatever they wanted to call it.

But all my stuff went to the charts.

I remember one time I had a record with KC and The Sunshine Band. This was about the 3rd or 4th number one hit I had with KC and….it coulda been “Shake Your Booty.” I’m not quite sure which one, but it was shooting up the charts, all legitimate too, even though I was very close with Bill Wardlow.

Anyway the record went to number 2 and it was goin up and on its way to number 1, and just like in a horse race comin from way behind, zoomin up the charts was “You Light Up My Life,” by Pat Boone’s daughter.

Bill says, “Henry what am I gonna do? I gotta make this record number one.”

I said, “Man, you gotta put me number one.”

But I says, “Man, you gotta give me that number one slot cause I’ve had 4 number one slots in a row with KC, like the Beatles y’know. I want my 5 in a row.”

The record was a legitimate hit. It dominated the clubs and I crossed it over from R&B to pop radio all over the U.S. and with my global distribution, I sold it around the world. I had millions of sales. Bill loved the music and the numbers backed it up.”

 

 

  • From a 2013 interview

©Jake Katel and Henry Stone. All Rights Reserved. No Unauthorized Reproduction.

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