Henry Stone On The Art of Transshipping: “They Said I Had To Stop Sitting At The End of The Table”
“I’ll never forget sitting at a meeting here at the Eden Roc. This label had a Beatles soundtrack. I always sat at the end of the conference table and have a phone brought in for me. When I saw something good I’d start making phone calls right from the meeting.
Man the Beatles come out, I’m calling Chicago, New York, Detroit, and locking deals outside my Florida turf. So the guys in the business start getting hip to me and say, “Ey man you cant sit there at the end man you gotta sit right up here where somebody can watch ya.”
But hey I got that reputation and at first a couple of guys in New York really didn’t like me at all. They didn’t threaten me or anything, but they said, “Henry you mother fucker!”
I said, “Loook, that’s my business. That’s what I do, man.”
I said, “You must not be doin your job if I gotta do your job for you.”
Even the manufacturers got to know, man, they knew what I was doing, they said, “Great! You’re breaking our records all over. We don’t mind sending you those records first.”
The other guys they were either too late or I dont know what they did, but my price was better.
I had certain guys, street hustlers that knew Henry Stone somehow through conventions they met me and they were street hustlers yknow, so they knew I’d get them a record 10 or 15 cents cheaper and they’d go out and hustle. They has their little accounts. Like I know Norman Cooper up in Philadelphia, I had a couple of guys in New York. It was mostly Philly, New York, and later on in Detroit where I had the right contacts yknow,
I would have people call me and I wouldnt deal with em cause the money wasn’t good, cause these guys that I dealt with, man , boom, the money was on the button. I had a couple of guys that would call me and I knew that they were like shaky, so fuhgettit.
I’d be selling 10% of the market, in the country, out of a million, cause I was transshipping. And I would sell sometimes more, Sometimes 12%, 120,000. I’d end up selling 100,000 of a million selling record. Sometimes a little more sometimes a little less but in that area yknow. It all depends.
It was a gimmick that I came up with. I capitalized on it. I took a lot of heat. But later on, everybody got this is the way it is.
People wanted records.
It was a record frenzy. Not a frenzy, It was a business. It was a 45 business at the time basically. LPs too. But 45s, the kids bought em, the kids bought em. It was a buck, a buck 20. They could afford it.”
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