Who Is Henry Stone?
Henry Stone is the greatest independent record man of all time!
Henry Stone was born in the Bronx, NYC on June 3, 1921 and died in Miami, FL on August 7, 2014.
Stone is one of the handful of individuals that started the independent movement in the music business. Dubbed the Godfather of Florida & Miami Soul, R&B, Blues, & Dance, he has been an instrumental part of the music industry in Miami and throughout the world as both an independent record label owner and distributor. Stone found his niche after WW II by selling records from the trunk of his car.
In the early 1950s he owned the second label to record Ray Charles. In 1955 he had his first million selling record with Otis Williams and The Charms singing “Hearts of Stone.” In the 1960s Stone became the largest independent record distributor in the Southeast, carrying lines such as Atlantic, Warner Bros., Motown, Stax and many more. At the time these were all independent record labels. Stone started the Miami Music craze in the late 1960s with million sellers from artists like Beginning of the End “Funky Nassau,” Clarence Reid “Nobody But You Babe,” Betty Wright “Clean Up Woman,” and others. He also recorded the first version of “The Twist,” and a pseudonymous James Brown and band’s “Do The Mashed Potatoes.” Stone’s biggest label, TK Records, was founded in the 1970s and charted over 25 gold and platinum records worldwide. He discovered KC & The Sunshine Band and other million sellers including George McCrae, Gwen McCrae, Latimore, Timmy Thomas, Peter Brown and many more.
Henry Stone’s influence in the Disco era is quite extensive. He discovered Harry Wayne Casey, better known as “KC” of KC and the Sunshine Band as well as T-Connection, Foxy, Little Beaver, Bobby Caldwell, and too many more to list right here. Check out the rest of the website, especially the Discogs section for more on that.
His label landed two tracks, “Boogie Shoes,” and “Calypso Breakdown,” on the famous Saturday Night Fever Soundtrack, one of the most successful albums of all time.
Stone was also instrumental to the birth of recorded hip hop, providing early cashflowy and credit for one hundred thousand record pressings from his own Hialeah pressing plant for Joe Robinson and Sylvia Robinson for their Sugar Hill Records label. He also broke their earliest releases in Florida through his distribution network and radio contacts.
After the T.K. Records bankruptcy in 1981, he founded Sunnyview Records with Morris Levy and they released the electro hip hop hit “Jamm On It” by Newcleus and the freestyle classic “Funky Little Beat,” by Connie.
Later in the 1980’s he broke with Sunnyview and founded HOT Productions, creating dozens of his own new labels as well as signing over fifty labels into manufacturing and distribution deals, as well as creating his own stars such as L’Trimm with “Cars With The Boom,” Company B with “Fascinated,” and The Extra T’s with “I Like It (Cornflakes)” through his own recording studio and in-house roster of producers, artists, musicians, programmers, DJs, and staff.
In 2004, Stone became one of the first record execs to go into digital distribution and upload his entire catalog to iTunes. His works can currently be found in every major streaming and download digital retailer on Earth.
Article by Jake Katel