Henry Stone Tells The Record Deal Behind “Rock Your Baby”
“I received a phone call from my attorney Allen Grubman one day that he was having a problem at Walter Hoffa’s office. If he left Walter’s would I be one of his clients? And he wanted to know what I thought about him leaving, and I said, “If you dont do it now, you’ll never do it. If the opportunity presents itself you have to take it.” I told him I would be his first client and this gave him the confidence of the finances he needed to branch out on his own. I liked Allen’s style, felt he was very good at what he did and that he would be successful. About 3 weeks later or so, at the time Allen was going out on his own, I had also made the decision to form TK Records and go on my own. I recorded a record by the name of “Rock Your Baby” by George McCrae. This record broke out so fast I knew that I had to do something immediately with it. I called Allen in New York and found out he was traveling in the south trying to secure the Malaco Group as a client. I reached Allen in Jackson, Misisssippi at the Malaco office and said “Allen, your troubles are over.I have the fastest breaking record in the world!” Along with my Tone Distribution I had an international company called Tone International, and I started to get calls from Germany, France, England, The Caribbean Islands etc. I decided instead of him coming to Miami I would meet him in New York. Bob Summers who was the head of RCA International had just recently been made head of the department coming from a minor post in the organization. Bob was very interested in “Rock Your Baby” and we made the deal with Bob for worldwide distribution.
I had some independent pressing plants but they couldn’t keep up with it, so I had to go to RCA Victor and they made me a deal. They gave me 100,000 pressings or 200,000 pressings. And actually the weird part was, I don’t know how it worked out but Morris Levy like guaranteed it. With RCA Victor for “Rock Your Baby.” It was interesting. I guess I had a pretty good relationship with Morris. We ended up selling 27 million worldwide.
So we made the deal with Bob for worldwide distribution excluding the US which I distributed myself. After we made the deal I remember Allen and myself on 6th avenue like two little school kids patting ourselves on the back for making this major deal with this major company.”
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