Remembering the 1959 “Payola” Record Convention on Miami Beach, Henry Stone Supplied The Booze
“My thing is I’ve always been Mr. Independent. All the way from the beginning in 1948 all the way up till today.
And any time there was a convention in Miami, I was the man.
I remember there was a big disc jockey, I cant remember his name, he was a disc jockey, but he was also a consultant for a lot of stations, Bill something, Bill, well anyway, he called me…
Bill Stewart. Bill Stewart? Is that his name? He’s the guy, he’s the jockey that sort of, he contacted me cause I was pretty fairly friendly with him. I remember, I wasn’t in Hialeah yet, this was 1959. I was on 47th Street and 2nd Ave. I hadn’t moved to Hialeah yet. I had my distribution warehouse on 47th street in Miami.
So Bill Stewart called me ahead of this convention in Miami and said, “Henry yknow we got this convention comin’ down to Miami man. We’re gonna need some booze, yknow.”
I says “Ok, yknow, you guys take good care of me, a lot of the disc jockeys that are comin here…I’ll supply the booze.”
I remember stockin up in my warehouse on bottles, I mean cases of Bourbon, Gin, yknow what was ever popular at that time, for the convention. I mean that was my contribution haha.
A lot of people got drunk and had a great time. Juggy Gayles jumped in the pool wearing all his clothes I think at either the American or the Fontainbleau. Of course I supplied the booze yknow so I was proud of that.
I wasn’t partying tooo hard myself. I was more of the innkeeper yknow. I was more the keeper of the booze to see that it went to the right people.
You can’t do much more than I did there.
I remember Morris Levy bringing the Count Basie Band down. It was a very exciting convention. Actually the Miami Herald wrote a big article about it. And it busted everything wide open for the payola…
I mean things like that were happening. A lot of broads. Always plenty of broads bein brought in by, tryin to think, who was the keeper. I was the keeper of the booze, I’m tryin to think who was the keeper of the broads..hahaha.
C’mon Stone get with it, you gotta get with it. You’re writin a book man, you gotta know everything…”
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