Henry Stone

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.”


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Sep 282015

“Bob Shad was a very, very, close friend of mine. Bob started  out recording blues artists like Lightnin’ Hopkins. In fact, I distributed his records, and we also became very good friends. We used to hang out together. he used to stay at my house when he came down, yknow real close. And when I cut the Ray Charles stuff, when I first cut it, I started to put it on my Rockin’ label, but I let Bobby do some on his Sittin’ In With Records. I had him do a little distribution on it yknow. Then after a year I took it back cause nothin was happening and thats when I released it on Rockin’ Records. Bob Shad was a piloting enthusiast and about 20 years ago he had a plane crash and passed away. He also produced Dinah Washington I think for Mercury. He was a good music guy, a real music guy. See, in those days we were all music guys. We didn’t have lawyers or accountants, man, they weren’t fuckin’ heard of. Music people, man, we dug the music, or we didn’t like it, or we made deals, just like with my deal with Bob Shad. It was a handshake, but after a year I said “Bobby nothins’ happenin’, give em back to me.” But thats the way it was. Now it’s all fuckin accountants and lawyers, and they don’t know the first fuckin thing about a record.”


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Sep 242015


“The Allman Brothers. When they met me, they were giggin down here in Miami. Little venues. Little rock and roll venues, just hustling yknow, and they uh, I guess from Steve Alaimo they heard about what we were tryin to do at TK. They came by my 8 track studio upstairs, not even 24 track yet, this is the early days. And they start like jammin around and we started using em. We used em on a few little rock sessions that Steve wanteda do, and then they end up sleeping, they had their car downstairs, and they end up sleeping upstairs in the studio, for a week or so, and we ended up cutting an album with them, with Duane and Greg, thats the name of the album. ”


“A lot of the white acts we didn’t bother with, but the Allman brothers was a whole different story. They came to me, we cut them. We recorded that one terrific album with the song “Melissa” on it, which by the way Steve Alaimo is a writer on. That was recorded upstairs on a little 8 track studio. We got a group that we’re selling pretty good the 31st of February, that’s the name of the group, and I think the Allman Brothers played the backup for the group. We formed that group. I made a deal with Vanguard Records to distribute it. I think Lawrence Welk bought the company and I dont know, we had a little correspondence with em, they said they found a contract from 1968 somethin like that. But we released that Allman Brothers on my Bold label, and we did very well with it. They still weren’t big yet but we sold quite a bit. It was Duane and Greg Allman yaknow. Still own that. We’re gonna put it out eventually. And that was the closest thing I came to rock and roll. Now as a distributor, Idistributed all Zeppelin, Cream, all the rock n roll sides as a distributor. I distributed all that product here in Florida, plus transshipping whatever I did trans shipping wise. But I’m a jazz guy at heart. Jazz and blues.”


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Here are the album credits for the Duane and Gregg Allman LP on BOLD Records as listed on


Hide Credits


Morning Dew

Songwriter – Bonnie Dobson, Tim Rose



God Rest His Soul

Songwriter – Steve Alaimo



Nobody Knows You When You’re Down And Out

Songwriter – Jimmie Cox*



Come Down And Get Me

Songwriter – Ray Gerald




Songwriter – Gregg Allman, Steve Alaimo



I’ll Change For You

Songwriter – David Brown (10)



Back Down Home With You

Songwriter – David Brown (10)



Well I Know Too Well

Songwriter – Steve Alaimo



In The Morning When I’m Real

Songwriter – R. Puccetti*




Unreleased Demo Recordings for The Band “31st Of February”, On Which Gregg and Duane Played As Studio Musicians. Sessions Recorded In September, 1968. Includes An Early Version of “Melissa”<br>

Recorded at TK Studios in Hialeah, FL.

Sep 232015

Bullet Records was a label out of Nashville. That’s the label that “Near You,” came out, the Francis Craig version. It was a huge pop record. And it was a huge bootleg record.

I had that bootleg. I bought and sold it by the thousands. People just pressed em up. That’s one of the first records I remember being bootlegged. First I was distributing the original, and then a couple guys called me up from New York and Philadelphia and said, “Henry, man, would you like to buy about 5,000 “Near You’s,” yknow, we got em’.” I said, “Sure, man.” Yknow. That’s what it was.

This was done on a major basis. Just get good equipment,copy the record with a microphone or howeva, and press it up.

The bootlegging always goes on somewhere along the way. It all depends on how big a record is. If a record’s real, real big, they can’t get enough pressing yknow. In New York City someone went to press one of my friend Hymie Weiss’s records. Hy was the Old Town Records manufacturer and his brother Sam was the distributor. And when they found out they were getting bootlegged, they sent people down to bust up the pressing plants with baseball bats. They didn’t mess around.

The bootlegs were like 15 cents a piece instead of 40 cents a piece. But I didn’t participate too much in that. I knew what was going on because all the bootleggers knew I was the only distributor down here in Florida so they always were making me offers. But the industry is a very small tight industry.

I mean, there was a hundred different record labels. But everybody knew everybody.

I remember one bootlegger named Zebley. I remember he came down to Miami in his car and dropped off about 2 or 3 thousand “Near You’s” He said, “Henry. When you sell these, pay me.” We had a good relationship.

Another record that became a real big bootleg was Buchanan and Goodman’s “Flying Saucer.” That was so big the bootleggers had to move in. Big huge million selling record,man. Just one of those clever records that took a bunch of songs and put em together yknow. I’m tryin to think of Goodman’s first name. I was involved with all these people, man. In the 80s I did some of Goodman’s last recordings. About 10 years ago he committed suicide. He was a characta, man, a real characta. Everybody knew him for doing these great novelty records.”


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Sep 162015

Morris Levy, Roulette Records

“Morris Levy was a big name in the Mafia and in the history books and everything. Big time.  I met him in the early years when he went into the record business with  George Goldner cause I was George’s distributor, and George’s buddy. Well, much later on, he sent down these two mob guys to be on my payroll and I thought about it and I said, “Gee I dont want these mafia guys on my payroll, man,” yaknow? So I told Morris, “Morris the big problem I have is I’m under audit with the IRS right now.” He said, “OK Henry I’ll talk to ya later,” badaboom. The phone clicked right down.

Later on I was partners with him on the Sunnyview Label. And he was cool, man, I never had a problem. I used to go to his farm all the time in upstate New York. I was very cool with Morris, he was cool with me and I know every Tuesday he used to go downtown to Little Italy to do his thing whatever he hadda do. We had a lot of stories together. Stay tuned and I’ll tell ya all about him.”


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Sep 102015
Matt Leone, Music Video Director

Matt Leone, Music Video Director

Little Pebbles are a moody instrumental pop Americana group out of Morocco signed by Henry Stone himself at a smoky bar in Marrakesh.

Since moving to Little Haiti in Miami to record for the Henry Stone Music label, they’ve created visuals for their music with famed director Matt Leone of Leone Creative.

Here’s what Matt had to say about great storytelling, overcranking for smooth slow mo in 4K, and eating steaks with Henry Stone in Vegas.

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