Henry Stone

Nov 132015

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Popsie Randolph. When I was a kid about 16 years old I used to take trumpet lessons with Charlie Colin on 48th street and one of my guys that I worked with, guy by then name of Shorty Rogers, great jazz guy, at that time he was Milton Reginsky, so I used to have to pass one of those hamburger places whatever they call those little hamburgers, Royal Castle like, like 4 or 5 hamburgers for a nickel or somethin’. So I used to pass there every 2 or 3 days a week to take my trumpet lesson. So one day, one kid behind the counter stopped me, he looked at me, he said, “You trumpet player,” with a heavy Greek accent, yknow, he says, “Are you Buddy Breenken?” He meant Buddy Berenken. I said “Nah, I’m just a student of the trumpet.” So I got to likin the guy, to know him and like him, and I got him into the music business. I got him a job and I’ll never forget the band name too, it was the first girl band. Ina Ray Hutton.


Ina Ray Hutton in Billboard Magazine, 1942 (public domain)

I got him a job as a band boy. And from there he worked for quite a few years with her, and he ended up working with Benny Goodman, becoming his right hand man. And he was a photographer on the side later on in his years. He was a Cashbox photographer taking a lot of pictures. He became a terrific photographer. Popsie Randolph.”


Text ©Jacob Katel and Henry Stone Music Inc. All Rights Reserved

Nov 092015

Little Beaver, Jimmie Bo Horne, Timmy Thomas, Willie Clarke, and Henry Stone

“Party Down” was just a part of my life when I was young and wild and reckless and partying involved drugs and beautiful women and life was carefree and I though we had it goin’ on. And we did. I had a friend of mine. I used to go to his house and we used to sit around and get high and listen to records…

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Oct 272015


“I came to Tampa with Curtis Mayfield grandma’s church when I was 13, so this was my second time in Florida. It was about 1957.

I was 18 years old. And we were booked by Ernie Busker into his Million Dollar Palms in Hallandale.

We was sposed to play 3 nights. We played 2 nights For Ernie Busker, and then 1 in Jacksonville, and I think the promoter was glad to be able to sell it.

The record “For Your Precious Love” was already a hit in Miami, that’s why we got booked to go down there. I remember King Coleman and Butterball were big on the record because it was selling, and because the people loved it, and because they had a good relationship with Veejay Records. We just weren’t ready for that kind of venue. We had been working with 5 or 6 other acts, and at the Palms it was just us and a comedian and we had to take up 45 minutes or an hour and then the same people stay for the second show so we played the same songs to the same audience over and over, and that’s hard to do.

Henry Stone was the promoter for that concert, and he was the distributor for the record…you get the picture, he treated us very well.

At the time, Overtown was the place to be. Soulville. We played the Sir John some years later on our own; and to play in the Sir John back in those days was big to do. Back in those days they still had signs on Miami Beach that said “No Dogs, Jews or Negroes.” The Sir John is where all the big celebrities stayed…The Sam Cookes, and Jackie Wilsons.”


© Henry Stone Music Inc. All Rights Reserved

Oct 202015

The internet is blowing up today with the release of Drake’s “Hotline Bling” music video. But did you know it’s based on a heavy sample of Timmy Thomas’s Glades Records platinum hit from 1972 “Why Can’t We Live Together?”

That’s the crucial cut that founded T.K. Productions as the parent company for a slew of independent record labels founded by Henry Stone when he found out that Atlantic Records would merge with Warner and Elektra to form WEA and conduct their own distribution.

Henry Stone would have leased up his release to Atlantic for national distribution but decided to manufacture, market, promote, and distribute it himself instead. He ended up with a million seller on his hands right out of the gate. And in fact, the song became a #1 chart topper around the world in addition to becoming the official rallying cry for an apartheid free South Africa.

Timmy Thomas is a legend in the world of music and his simple and heartfelt tribute to peace and love is a classic whose power shall never falter. And that’s why Drake is on it.

Oct 142015


Andrew “DJ Le Spam” Yeomanson is Miami’s king of studio archive transfers.

From soul, funk, r&b, gospel, rock, and more; on labels including the legendary Henry Stone’s Rockin’, Glory, Marlin, and DeLuxe, Spam can run, splice, chop, and repair half century old music captured on magnetic tape with the best of em’.

Yesterday he brought life to the Keys of Heaven, an incredible gospel outfit whose sound is so sanctified that Jesus wept over Miami when Spam ran the tape.


The tracks were recorded circa 1953 for Henry Stone’s  Crystal Recording Corporation, the sister company to his original Seminole Distribution Company, his first known record business entities after moving to Miami, FL in 1948.

The original music came out on Glory Records 4016 as “Let Your Light Shine On Ike,” and “Jesus Bears The Cross.” Today that record is a major collector’s item.

Just listen to the amazing sounds of the Keys of Heaven. Their raw, gritty, gutbucket soul evidences the true roots of blues, rock, r&b, soul, funk, and everything that those genres inspired too.

Andrew says, “Today we got a stack of tapes on 7” reels. Two tapes on Johnny and Mack, a gospel tape by Keys of Heaven. Davy Jones, thats gonna be good r&b that should be real good. Sonny Thompson “Juke Joint,” I have this on 45 it’s a classic so its cool to see that. Maybe there’s an alternate take on it, that’s always interesting.”


Joe Stone, who Henry left in charge of the daily operations of his Henry Stone Music label upon passing away says that he found the tapes in some old boxes. “I started pulling em out and looking at em’,” he remembers, “And they had these beautiful handwritten notes in them like, “Hey, pump the bass and the highs on this one. I need a hit,” written to the mastering engineer.”


But “You can’t just take these tapes and throw them on any deck,” says Joe, “You gotta find the right elements.”

“It’s not just equipment, but the people behind it.”


“Henry and I knew Andrew for a long time through different things with catalog. And Andrew helped on The Record Man movie. He helped me and Henry for years to find old records we needed copies of. He has the right temperament, knowledge, and enthusiasm to get into this kind of stuff.”


So as Henry Stone Music continues putting out great new hits, and resurrecting old ones from their magnetic state of suspended animation, you can be sure that Andrew “DJ Le Spam” Yeomanson probably had something to do with it, and that’s awesome!


Sep 302015

IMG_1068 Allen Grubman(Music Attorney) & Henry Stone

“Sitting one day in my office at Tone Distributors, I received a phone call from Walter Hoffa’s office. Walter was a top New York lawyer at that time who represented the Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and other major acts from Europe. Upon answering my phone call, a young attorney from Hoffa’s office got on the phone and introduced himself to me as Mr Allen Grubman. He said he was representing a group called The Beginning of The End who at the time had a top 5 record (Funky Nassau). It was on the Alston label, which I owned and the record was distributed by Atlantic. Mr Grubman stated that the contract that I had with the group should be broken. At that time I asked mr Grubman if he knew who he was talking to. And told him that the contract that i had was with Atlantic and a very strong contract, and being very angry at this conversation I threatened to get on the next plane and kick his ass.

The phone hung up very quickly and about 10 minutes later I received a phone call from Walter Hoffa, who before becoming a lawyer was promo man for MGM Records. So I had some form of relationship with Walter and he said “What did you do to one of my new attorneys?” And I told him I didn’t like his attitude, he had a snotty New York attitude and didn’t know what he was talking about. By the way the contract was never broken. It was a firm and good contract.

About 4 weeks later I called Walter due to circumstances and major changes in the record industry. The changes being Atlantic, Warner Bros, Elektra were gonna form their own distribution network. Consequently I would lose distribution of my own Alston label, so I decided to do my own manufacturing and distribution.

I wanted Walter and his firm to represent me. He said he would do so and I planned to meet him in New York. I arrived in New York at Laguardia airport and a young smiling Jewish gentleman by the name of Allen Grubman was there to pick me up. Walter had sent him to pick me up. Of course upon meeting him I took to his New York Allen Grubman ways. He drove me to Walter’s office. On the way to Walter’s office he told me he had just gotten out of law school and went knocking on doors on 57th street and was hired by Walter Hoffa’s firm. Not knowing a lot about the music business at the time, and just getting into law from being a school teacher, Allen was eager to get as much knowledge as he could about the music industry. After our initial incident we seemed to have a strong rapport with one another and this was the beginning of a very long business and personal relationship. Walter Hoffa asked me if i would mind if he assigned Allen as my lawyer and I though that was a great idea, because Walter was a very busy attorney. This way I had a young attorney with his full attention on my work.

As in my past performances of hit records, I called Allen at Walter’s office and told him I had a hit record breaking big in South Florida and I’d meet him in New York to try and make a foreign deal because I was gonna distribute this record myself. The record was “Why Cant We Live Together” by Timmy Thomas. I arrived in New York a few days later and with Allen we started negotiating with Polygram Records and we made a deal with Polygram the following day. At the time while I was in New York I had some deals with Morris Levy where Morris owed me some money for some of my publishing. I took Allen by the arm and said “Come with me to Roulette Records, I have to pick up some money.” I think that was Allen’s first experience of meeting Morris Levy. After talking to Morris and negotiating with Morris he agreed to pay me $10,000 in cash for what was owed at the time. Upon walking out of the office Allen said, “What a guy. What a deal.” I handed Allen $1,000 and said, “Here’s your 10% lawyers fee.” The money was for a weird deal with “Mashed Potatoes,” some kind of a ripoff with the “Peppermint Twist” yknow.”


©HenryStoneMusic Inc. All Rights Reserved