Henry Stone Talks Berry Gordy and Motown: “Henry What The Fuck Are Ya Doin’!?!”

“I had a conversation with Berry Gordy one day. The founder of Motown. He called me up when I got hot with TK in the 1970’s. He said, “Henry what the fuck are ya doin?!” Cause I was his distributor too. I was a Motown distributor, and TK was goin crazy, but Motown was in a low period. In the 60s they were huge, and are still very big. But in the 70s, I ruled the world.

So Berry Gordy said to me, “Whatareya doin!?!”

I said, “I’m doing what you were doin in the 60s.”

And we were talkin about how his artists were accusing him of beatin em out of all this money, but you gotta remember in those days when we sold a million records it was a million 45s, and artists got paid 3 cents a record royalty.

If you sell a million LP’s, you’re getting a buck 50 a record, so there was no comparison. He said, “No motherfucker, I paid every nickel, it was on 45s not LP’s.

Now KC? He got all his money on his LPs. He got every nickel. KC was real cool. Course he had this bitch working for him, Sherry Smith, and she sat right next to my bookkeeper every day and knew that everything was happening. I’d give him his royalties every month practically. Which was good, he was takin care of business.”

©Jake Katel and Henry Stone. All Rights Reserved

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