Henry Stone On Charles Brown: “I Brought Him To Aladdin Records”
Charles Brown is an incredible artist whose music has lasted since 1946 till today. “Merry Christmas Baby” may be his biggest hit, but his catalog is chock full of smooth American jazz and blues. Also known as “Good Time Charlie Brown” he recorded for labels like Aladdin, King, Imperial, Jewel, and many more.
And it all started for him with Aladdin Records. Here is how he ended up there:
Henry Stone served in WWII as a trumpet player in the army’s first racially integrated band at Camp Kilmer, New Jersey.
After the war ended he moved out to Los Angeles and joined the music business, working with the earliest pioneering labels in American independent records.
Stone said, “If you wanna go back to 1946 when I was in California when I got out of the army I ended up with Ben Pollack. He was an old bandleader. He hired me as a&r man, sweeping the floor, whatever had to be done. The first artist I worked with was Mel Torme. He was a little bit of a jazz artist, 17 years old, and I was setting the mic up for him to sing into. I liked his music and I worked with him til one day I was down at Central Ave in Los Angeles.
I heard Johnny Moore with a singer by the name of Charles Brown, which I though was fantastic
I brought him into Ben to record, but he was a real old, retired band leader that had this Jewel Label that I was working with him on. And when I brought Charles Brown in, he said to me, “Henry, I dont want any nigger in my label.” I said “Fine! Im leaving too,” and I brought him over to Aladdin Records. At the time the Messner boys had a Reccawd store.
And I brought him to them and they started recording and Charles Brown made hits.”