Henry Stone on Paying Radio DJ’s For Airplay: “I Made Sure These Cats Would Get Paid”

“I distributed all these labels so I had to get the records on the radio in order to get em’ hot and build demand. And what I used to do to get a record on the radio is pay the DJ. I mean, I could get it on for nothin’, but I said fuck it, man, why shouldn’t I get these guys 50 or a hundred bucks, man. It’s not gonna cost me nothin’. I’m gonna get free records for it ya dig? Every thousand records I ordered, they had to give me three hundred for promotion. And I’d make sure these cats would get paid. That’s one thing the jockeys loved about me. It got to a point here in Florida where even the major companies couldnt get a record on these stations cause nobody wanteda touch anybody’s money. They were afraid. They knew if they came through me, man, everything’s cool. They knew, yknow? But some promotion man that just got a job let’s say with RCA. He would say, “Hey man, I got a new whatever record. Here’s 50 or a hundred dollars to play it.” The DJ would say, “Nah we can’t handle that. Ya gotta see Henry.”

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