Henry Stone On Disrupting the Whole Record Business with Dance Music
“So there’s 4 major record companies. Everything else was an independent until things started to change, when WEA started then Motown sort of started their own thing and ABC started their own independent distribution yknow. And then they still weren’t majors, they were sub majors we’ll call em
Thats how they resolved
Distributors like myself built a huge distributing company. A lot fell by the wayside cause they couldnt handle it. Cause you get aright Roulette Records they started so all of a sudden Roulette Records has ten releases, Count Basie, Sarah Vaughn, a couple of hits with Buddy Knox and they start building catalog and they come down here , and bring in 10 new releases and then Atlantic would come with 10 or 15 new releases and they’d all come with new releases and me as the distributor and other distributors around the country that had the lines we all built huge inventories.
So it became a huge business of independents. The majors went along with their things like RCA had Elvis Presley, Columbia had like Tony Bennet and yknow other artists too, but nothing like the independents, they had Everything like I explained we had 98% of the charts at one time, all the independents and me as a distributor was able to distribute 98% of the hit records that were out at the time.
I came along in the 70s and disrupted the whole business with Dance records. and then when the business fell apart in the 80s, not only me but Casablanca everybody went into the shit pot. The business took a big dip.
Thats when Columbia had the returns of 5 million records. And thats how I lost my 17 and a half million dollar deal with Columbia. I had a deal with Columbia, they were gonna buy TK, so and then thats when the majors came in strong again with Michael Jackson’s Thriller, shooo, that shot the business back sort of brought it back up again.”
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