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Nov 212013
 

Be a Part of Music History with Henry Stone

Hello to all our fans and friends,

Attention, any and all visitors to the old TK Productions, Tone Distributors and TK Studios in Hialeah, Florida. People from around the world made the trip to visit us in the 1970’s to see where this music that was changing the world was coming from.

We are searching for photographs, film footage, original tapes and ephemeral items (contracts, notes, letters, etc).

ephemera2

A documentary film is currently in production about the Miami Sound, TK Productions, and Henry Stone the man behind it, titled Rock Your Baby.”

We are asking people to dig deep into their personal archives for any images and ephemera from this magical time in music history. If you know anyone who might have some of this history, please share this with them. All items will be returned, if so desired.

If you have photographs, film footage or ephemeral items from TK Productions, Tone Distributors, or the artists and staff involved, please contact us here.

Thank you very much!

Oct 032013
 

Top 10 KC & The Sunshine Band Hits from TK Records

KC & The Sunshine Band

KC & The Sunshine Band

KC and The Sunshine Band are one of the world’s most popular musical groups. With 2 songs on the Saturday Night Fever movie soundtrack, 9 Grammy nominations, 3 Grammy awards, 5 Billboard #1 pop singles, and incredibly influential dance music staples like “Shake Shake Shake (Shake Your Booty),” “I’m Your Boogie Man,” “Keep It Comin Love,” and “That’s The Way I Like It,” to name a few, their music has been a worldwide sensation since first hitting the mainstream in the 1970′s.

The group was born in Hialeah, FL from the combination of  label owner Henry Stone’s industry prowess, the open door policy that kept his company full of Miami’s most talented musicians, the teamwork between young engineer Rick Finch, and songwriter Harry Wayne Casey (KC for short), and the influence of Caribbean rhythms on dancey, bass heavy American r&b.

Here are KC & The Sunshine Band’s Top 10 Hits on Henry Stone’s TK Records.

10. Please Don’t Go

In 1980, this smooth ballad was a worldwide number one hit. Women from Kansas City to Tokyo fell hard for the pleading vocals and bought literally tons of copies of it.

9. Keep It Comin Love

You may have heard this song in the soundtrack to the movies Howard Stern’s Private Parts (1997), Blow (2001), Inside Deep Throat (2005), Wedding Crashers (2005), and Freak Out (2006). The track was very popular thanks to its driving beat and sexual double entendres.

8. Queen Of Clubs

It was a number one record in the UK. The band supported it out there playing 2 or 3 shows a night. Steve Alaimo took him out there. And it was recorded before all the big #1 pop hits.

7. Sound Your Funky Horn

This was one of the early recordings too before the big hits. KC and his little junkanoo band played it at one of Clarence Reid’s weddings. Not too many people know about it, but it’s a good little record. It came out on Jay Boy Records in the UK. Clarence Reid co-wrote it with KC.

6. That’s The Way I Like It

This single from KC & The Sunshine Band’s second album is one of only a few pop hits in history to go #1 on the charts in non consecutive weeks. At the time it was released some people considered it risqué due to the subject matter suggested by the lyrics. It was huge around the world, from Norway to the UK to the USA.

5. Shotgun Shuffle

This song is remarkable for being an instrumental radio hit. It came out in 1975 and quickly became a smash on dance floors and then airwaves across America.

4. I’m Your Boogie Man

This classic track appears on the soundtracks to Roll Bounce, The Watchmen, Superbad, and all five Scary Movie films. It’s from the band’s third album, 1976′s aptly titled Part 3. The track has even been covered by White Zombie for The Crow: City of Angels soundtrack.

3. Shake Your Booty

This was the first #1 pop hit to receive mainstream radio play for a song with the word “booty” in it. Due to the controversial nature of the word, and its perception as having a sexual connotation, there were naysyaers within the TK ranks who said it would never be a hit. Henry Stone refused to listen, decided it would be a smash, and promoted it as a single which successfully topped charts around the world in 1976. It changed the face of modern dance music and is still incredibly influential today.

2. Boogie Shoes

Ever since hitting it huge on the soundtrack to the Hollywood disco classic Saturday Night Fever in 1977, “Boogie Shoes” has been a timeless and unforgettable song. That album initially shipped 15 million copies, and spent 18 weeks as the number 1 album on the pop charts. It can be originally heard on the band’s self titled second album from 1975 as well as the movies No Escape (1994), Mallrats (1995), Boogie Nights (1997), Detroit Rock City (1999), and The Wedding Date (2005) . Miami rapper Trick Daddy sampled it for his song “Take It To Da House.”

1. Get Down Tonight

This was the first of KC & The Sunshine Band’s 5 songs to go number 1 on the pop charts. It has appeared in the movies Sid and Nancy (1986), Forrest Gump (1994), Rush Hour (1998), Deuce Bigalow Male Gigalo (1999), and Arlington Road (1999). The track was parodied by Beyonce Knowles in the Mike Myers film Austin Powers: Goldmember. It also plays in the video game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (2002). It is noted for its very distinctive opening made by playing a guitar sol at 200% speed over a normal speed guitar track.

 

Sep 102013
 

The Bee Gees at Middle Ear Studios. Photo by Dick Ashb

This is Henry Stone: “My Bee Gees connection, my real tight connection was that I owned their recording studio. First I leased it to them, and then I sold them the building that they built Middle Ear Recording Studios in. I owned it. Right there on Miami Beach.

“When they first got here they were working at Mac Emmerman’ Criteria studios in North Miami. The Bee Gees did all their recording here.

“And the building I sold them, Middle Ear, that was the studio they recorded every day. Not only themselves, but they also recorded Michael Jackson, and Barbara Streisand there.

“The Bee Gees and I knew of each other because of Saturday Night Fever. We both had tracks on there. We’d had conversations before. We were familiar with each other. So I leased ‘em the building that I owned across the street from my accountant’s office. Last I checked, the building was still there.

“I remember one time I brought my wife Inez over there to meet everybody, and it wasn’t Barry, I don’t think it was Maurice, but she says to one of the Gibb brothers “Who are you?”

So many deals…Billions went through my hands……

Jul 312013
 

blowflymoviesquare
He’s the biggest character in the whole fuckin world man. Clarence Reid, man. Blowfly. That was my invention. Blowfly. Clarence was y’know one of my writers, good writer yknow, he wrote “Rockin Chair,” for Gwen McCrae. Good songwriter. So I used to have a little piano in front of my office. Musicians used to come in and sit down. Clarence was sittin’ there foolin’ around with an old song. I’m in my office doin what I’m doin. I hear him by the piano all of a sudden playin “Sittin On The Dock Of The Bay,” but he’s sayin’ “Shittin On The Dock Of The Bay.” I say “Clarence! What is that?” I said “Go upstairs and cut that immediately! We had an 8 track studio above my Tone Distribution office. That’s where we cut a lot of hits.” So I said, “Clarence go up there and put that on tape immediately, so he finishes Shittin On The Dock Of The Bay, and I say come up with some more ideas, man, and cut some songs. So that’s when Blowfly came into existence. Shittin’ On The Dock Of The Bay.

Check out the Blowfly Store!


Jun 212013
 

From The Archives:

A certificate of appreciation dating from 1978 signed by then county Mayor Stephen P. Clark. The text is below.

Certificate of Appreciation
to
Henry Stone
President and Founder, T.K. Records and Tone Industries

In sincerest recognition of invaluable contributions to development of the modern music industry in Dade County.

November 4, 1978

Signed by Barry D. Schreiber, Commissioner and Stephen P. Clark, Mayor Metropolitan Dade County

The original will be going to HistoryMiami for their upcoming Henry Stone Collection.

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certificateofrecognition1978b2

Feb 182013
 

!pepperminttwist001Before Chubby Checker’s version of The Twist took the world by storm, spawning a Dick Clark fueled dance craze, and a series of answer records that continues till today, it was just another record cut by Henry Stone and Hank Ballard (of The Midnighters fame) at the North Miami Armory. The back story is little known outside the music industry, but is a documented fact in a recent book called “Peppermint Twist: The Mob, Music, and The Most Famous Dance Club of the ’60s” by John Johnson Jr., Joel Selvin, and Dick Cami.

It all started when Henry took a Chitlin Circuit run with Hank  Ballard and The Midnighters. He remembers, “I got a call around ’58 or ’59 to go on the road with The Midnighters for like 2 weeks. I was out promoting my records and the Midnighters records along with em’. I was the white man, so I had to buy food for the band and bring it to the car. While we were on the road Hank said, “My contract is about to be up with King. I wanna get with either Veejay or Chess.” I said no problem. I called Ewart Abner and said “How would you like to sign Hank Ballard?” He said “Record him now, and I’ll give you 5,000 free records and half the publishing on the song.

“I didn’t have a studio yet, but Mack Emmerman (Criteria Recording Studios) had a lot of portable recording equipment. I brought Hank up to the Armory in North Miami and he came up with The Twist, but like a blues grind. It was originally going to be a blues number. Hank’s guitar player, Cal Green, was tuning up his guitar and I said how about we do it like a dance song and that’s how we recorded it. I sent the masters up to Ewart at Veejay, but somehow, Syd Nathan found out about it. He said ‘Oh that sonofabitch Henry Stone…Hank still owes me $300 on his contract! You better give me that master or I’m gonna sue your ass off.’ Ewart didn’t wanna do anything with the courts so he just sent him the tapes and it came out as a B-Side on Federal.

“Later, Cameo-Parkway sent Chubby Checker down to perform at one of my sock hops I used to run with DJ Bob Green. Chubby came by the studio when I was cutting James Brown doing the “Mashed Potato.” I told Chubby that if he’s looking for a song, to go look at this little B Side that came out on Federal Records, and so I’m the man responsible for “The Twist.” But these were just things I did to make a living, I never thought twice about it at the time. –And that’s how history is made.”

More info on “The Twist” at Wikipedia

Mar 292012
 

If you are in the south Florida area, please join us at the Miami Art Museum on April 5th as Henry Stone is featured on the panel for “Miami Vinyl: Part one (1960s-early 70s)”.

RSVP on Facebook.

Miami Art Museum
101 West Flagler Street
Miami, FL 33130

Thursday, April 5, 2012
6:00pm until 9:00pm

Part one of this three-part series, hosted by Andrew Yeomanson, producer, Miami music historian and DJ Le Spam of Spam Allstars, examines the years preceding the rise of the disco era in the early 1970s. Pioneers of the local music scene will discuss soul, funk and other genres, to the soundtrack of pivotal tracks from the era. Following the panel discussion, guest DJ Mr. Brown will spin the best of ’60s-’70s soul and funk. Cocktails by Smirnoff and Perrier.

Panel discussion begins 6:30pm, doors open 6pm (limited seating):
• Willie J. Clarke – legendary Miami producer and songwriter
• Jeff Lemlich – Music historian; author of Savage Lost: Florida Garage Bands, The ’60s and Beyond; founder of Limestone Lounge Florida Music Forum
• Henry Stone – founder and owner of the famed TK Records, home of disco stars KC and the Sunshine Band; known for defining the “Miami sound” since the 1960s.

MAM members free, non-members $8 (general museum admission, guest passes cannot be used)
Specialty cocktails by Smirnoff and Société Perrier
Secure garage parking $5 at 50 NW 2nd Ave.
Events@miamiartmuseum.org / 305.375.1704

TWITTER: #MAMMiamiVinyl | @MiamiArtMuseum

The Record: Contemporary Art and Vinyl was organized by the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University and is curated by Trevor Schoonmaker, Patsy R. and Raymond D. Nasher Curator of Contemporary Art.

The Miami presentation is supported by a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation as part of its Knight Arts Challenge. Additional support is provided by DJ Le Spam, JW Marriott Marquis, Ocean Drive Magazine, Scratch Academy, Smirnoff, Société Perrier, Stanton, Winter Music Conference, The Workshop, WPBT Channel 2 and WVUM-FM. The official cultural partners for The Record are: Grand Central, Lester’s, Rhythm Foundation and Sweat Records.

Mar 082011
 

History of Henry Stone Music

Henry Stone, T.K. Office, Hialeah, Florida (1975)

AMG Biography
Born June 3, 1921, in the Bronx, NY, Henry Stone began playing the trumpet in his teens, inspired by jazz great Louis Armstrong. Later at a military camp in New Jersey, he played in bands. After being discharged in 1946, he began selling records out of the back of his car in Los Angeles.

Later he became a 78 rpm record salesman for the Bihari Brothers’ Modern Records, selling to jukebox owners throughout California. He was not solely employed by them as a salesman. He did sell for them but also had his own things going on the side… one of which was the ‘Indi Index’, the forerunner to the ‘Phono-Log’. In 1952, he established his own recording studio, Crystal Recording Company, and started a blues label, Rockin’, and a gospel music label, Glory, in Florida. A big hit on Glory was Rev. A. Johnson’s God Don’t Like It.

Ray Charles
Stone did some pre-stardom recording with Ray Charles at his Flagler Street Studio, in Miami, Florida. The resulting songs were released on Rockin and Delux labels.

Otis Williams and the Charms
Stone leased some of his labels’ other releases to DeLuxe Records. Most notable was the Cincinnati, OH, vocal group Otis Williams and the Charms. Originally recording for Stone’s Rockin’ label in 1953, the group scored a few hits: “Hearts of Stone” (number one R&B for nine weeks); “Ling, Ting, Tong” (number five R&B) and its flip side, “Bazoom (I Need Your Lovin’),” which went to number five R&B in January 1955; and “Two Hearts,” which hit number eight R&B in March 1955.

Stone formed Chart Records in 1955 and two music publishing companies, Pelican and Sherlyn. His roster included the Champions, the Evergreens, and bandleader/pianist Sonny Thompson.


At the end of the decade, he formed two other labels, Glades and Marlin.


James Brown & Henry Stone

In 1960, Stone cut “(Do The) Mashed Potatoes” by Nat Kendrick and the Swans for the Dade label. The group was James Brown’s backup band, the JBs, and scored a number eight R&B hit in February of that year. Many years later, Stone recorded Brown himself on his TK imprint: “Rapp Payback” in 1980 and “Stay With Me” in April 1981.


Betty Wright, Timmy Thomas & Clarence Reid
During the late ’60s, Stone began Alston Records, signing Betty Wright, Timmy Thomas, and Clarence Reid. Wright’s “Clean Up Woman” was a gold number two R&B/number six pop hit single in November 1971. Reid’s biggest hit was “Nobody but You Babe,” a number seven R&B hit in July 1969.


Latimore
For Stone’s Glades label, Benny Latimore aka Latimore hit with the late-night blues anthem “Let’s Straighten It Out,” which stayed at number one R&B for two weeks in September 1974. The singer/songwriter also broke the R&B Top Ten with “Keep the Home Fire Burnin’” and “Something ‘Bout ‘Cha.”

K.C. & The Sunshine Band – 1977
With the signing of KC and the Sunshine Band to his TK label, Stone found his pot of gold (and platinum) at the end of the rainbow. The band racked up five number one pop singles, four number one R&B singles, and gold, platinum, and multi-platinum albums.

Richard Finch, Henry Stone & Harry Casey
While working at a record store, young Harry Wayne “KC” Casey came in contact with Tone Distributors and TK Records. KC began hanging around Tone/TK. Stone gave KC the double-duty job of sweeping floors and packing records for shipment in the warehouse. While packing records in 1972, KC met bassist and occasional recording engineer Richard Finch. The two teens formed a creative partnership. Stone let the young men work and experiment in the recording studio when it wasn’t booked and during after-midnight hours.

The two cut numerous demos on themselves, just jamming. KC felt an almost paternal connection to Stone, who reminded him of his father. Soon afterwards at a wedding reception for Clarence Reid in January 1973, KC was exposed to junkanoo, the highly festive, heavily rhythmic, horn-punctuated musical genre that originated in the Bahamas. Later while accompanying TK artist Timmy Thomas to a Washington, D.C., concert as his assistant and booking agent, KC got an idea for a song after hearing the audience approvingly blowing whistles. The song, “Blow Your Whistle,” was KC and Finch’s first professional recording and went to number 27 R&B in September 1973. While cutting a demo on one of their unrecorded original songs, KC and Finch decided that the song was in a key that was too high for KC’s singing range.


Steve Alaimo & Henry Stone
Stone and TK A&R man Steve Alaimo suggested that they give the song to singer George McCrae.

Henry Stone & George McCrae
Released in early summer 1974, “Rock Your Baby” rolled quickly up the charts, holding the number one spot on both the R&B and pop charts for two weeks during July 1974. The worldwide sales of “Rock Your Baby” totaled over six million singles. KC and the Sunshine Band’s second single, “Sound Your Funky Horn,” did a little better than their first, going to number 21 R&B in February 1974. With an approving nod from TK, KC and Finch brought in lead guitarist Jerome Smith, drummer Robert Johnson, and conga player Femin Goytisolo.

The band’s debut LP Do It Good garnered little attention in the U.S. but took off in Europe due in part to “Queen of Clubs,” which was a Top Ten hit in both England and Germany. A band was hastily assembled for a European tour in 1975 and expanded to include eight more musicians and singers. The fourth single, “Get Down Tonight,” took off, hitting number one R&B in April 1975 and held the number one pop for two weeks in August 1975.

Their second album, KC and the Sunshine Band, was released in July 1975. To capitalize on the band’s success, TK released instrumental singles by the Sunshine Band. An instrumental album, The Sound of Sunshine, was released in 1979. “That’s the Way I Like It,” another single from their self-titled album, echoed the success of “Get Down…,” hitting both number one R&B and pop in 1975. The LP went multi-platinum.

In 1976, the band won five Grammys. “(Shake Shake Shake) Shake Your Booty” was the group’s third number one hit, topping the R&B charts for a month during July. The mega-platinum-selling Saturday Night Fever soundtrack included KC and the Sunshine Band’s “Boogie Shoes.” The band selling tens of millions of records brought prestige to the little independent record label based in Hialeah, FL, no doubt bolstering other acts on the label.


Other TK Top Ten hits from that period include: Little Beaver’s (aka Willie Hale) “Party Down” and Peter Brown’s “Do You Wanna Get Funky With Me,” “Dance With Me,” and “Crank It Up (Funk Town) Pt. 1.”

In 1979, crooner Bobby Caldwell signed with TK Records. It seemed an odd signing at the time, as the label was the home to disco/soul/blues-oriented artists and Caldwell was a jazzy, romantic balladeer. No matter, since Caldwell’s first single, “What You Won’t Do for Love,” climbed to number six R&B and number nine pop in the fall of 1978. Several tracks from his albums were in heavy rotation on R&B-oriented FM stations. Later, Caldwell and his manager Henry Marx started Sindrome Records, buying the rights from TK and reissuing the albums and new Caldwell material perfectly suited for the smooth jazz radio format.

Anita Ward
TK also struck gold with Anita Ward’s “Ring My Bell.” Written and produced by artist Frederick Knight (“I’ve Been Lonely So Long”), “Ring My Bell” rung its way up to the number one R&B spot in just six weeks and stayed there for five weeks. The catchy track stayed at number one pop for two weeks during summer 1979. “Ring My Bell” started a trend with its use of a “boingy” syndrome with several acts duplicating the sound on numerous records that came after it. DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince did a million-selling Top Twenty R&B/pop cover of the tune in 1991.


Gwen MacCrae
George McCrae’s wife Gwen MacCrae had three hits: “For Your Love,” the number one R&B “Rockin’ Chair,” and “Love Insurance.”


Foxy
Rock group Foxy’s “Get Off” was number one R&B for two weeks in summer 1978.

Around the end of the ’70s, KC and Finch and TK began to have conflicts. Some say that this was reflected in the relatively poor chart showings of their releases. Of course, it also could have meant that public tastes were changing. The title track of KC and the Sunshine Band’s fifth album Do You Wanna Go Party (June 1979) went to number eight R&B in 1979…. Ed HoganAMG Biography

In addition to being one of the more colorful characters in the biz, he’s one of the last independent label executives still standing who was totally in the mix with many of the heavyweight labels owners and artists from the 40s, 50s and 60s (label heads including Syd Nathan, George Goldner, the Bihari Brothers, Ewart Abner, the Erteguns, Jerry Wexler, Hy Weiss, Morris Levy, etc…). What can I say? From blues to R&B, doo-wop, soul, funk, disco and rap, this dude’s been AROUND!

Stone began his career in the music industry in 1948 selling vinyl out of the trunk of his car to jukebox operators and along the way worked as a producer, promoter, talent scout, distributor and label owner.

In the early 70s, Stone was pivotal in launching the the disco sound via his T.K. and Marlin labels. Over the years he also owned or had an interest in Alston, Dade, Glades, Deep City, Saadia, Rockin’, Chart, CAT, Deluxe, Deep City, Reid’s World and many more (much of this is well documented in the excellent liners for the recent Soul Jazz “Miami Sound” comp).


Stone also worked with James Brown, Hank Ballard, Sam & Dave, Ray Charles, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Gwen and George McCrae, Timmy Thomas, Betty Wright, K.C. & The Sunshine Band, L’Trimm, The 2 Live Jews and tons more.

Special thanks to DJ Monica LynchWFMU 91.1 FM Radio – NYC for writing the above text. She conducted an interview with living legend, Henry Stone that aired Friday, June 27th, Noon – 3pm. The show will be archived for future internet listening.
RealAudio stream.

Henry Stone is an Honorary Member of the Disco DJ Hall of Fame™ and a member of the Disco Hall of Fame™.

May 192010
 

On May 19th at 7:00pm, Henry Stone was honored at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum as part of their Songwriters to Soundmen program.

The People Behind the Hits took place on Wednesday, May 19 at 7 p.m. in the Rock Hall’s Foster Theater.

Stone was interviewed by the Rock Hall’s Vice President of Education and Public Programs, Dr. Lauren Onkey. Questions taken from the audience at the end of the interview.

Read more information on the Rock Hall website.

www.henrystonemusic.com

To sign up for the Henry Stone Music email list, CLICK HERE and put your name and email address in the form to get all the latest updates – www.henrystonemusic.com/emaillist.htm

Dec 112008
 

On December 6th, 2008, Henry Stone had a great interview with Craig Charles on his Funk and Soul Show on Radio BBC 6 in England. They talked about Henry’s 60 year history in the music business in Miami, his first recordings of Ray Charles and James Brown. How Henry discovered KC and the Sunshine Band. They talked about Sam and Dave, Little Beaver, George & Gwen McCrae, Betty Wright, and all the other great acts that defined an era of music and created two dozen gold and platinum hits on Henry Stone’s record labels like TK Records, Marlin, Dash, Drive, Dade, and so many others. Here are video recordings of the interviews, as well as some interesting post-interview chatting.

Part 1 of 3

Part 2 of 3

Part 3 of 3

Sep 122008
 

Hank Ballard came into my Tone Distributing office one day and said to me, “Henry, my contract with King Records is over.” I pretty much knew this information because of my involvement with King Records and remembered him signing a three-year contract. Ballard implied to me that he was shopping for a new record label and asked me if I could get him signed with Chicago’s Chess or Vee Jay record labels.

I told him that I did not think that would be a problem and that I would make a couple of phone calls and see what I could do. I called Leonard Chess, who thought he might be interested. I next called Ewart Abner at Vee Jay, who was definitely interested.

As it turned out, Ballard had pretty much made the decision that he would like to go with Abner at Vee-Jay. I called Abner and said, “Would you like to have Hank Ballard on your label?” He said, “Yeah, he’s a great artist and he’s had quite a few hits on the King label. Is his contract over?” I told him I was 100% positive that his contract had expired and that he was getting ready to sign a contract with somebody.

Abner said that he would sign him up under one condition, that I record him in Miami, while he was down here. I told Abner that there was one slight problem, that we did not have a recording studio in Miami at the time. At this stage I was focusing on my distribution company and had shut down my recording studio.

Mack Emerman’s Criteria Recording Studio, located in North Miami, had not yet officially opened its doors. Emerman had quite a bit of portable equipment and he was recording out of his house. He was also recording live at the North Miami Armory, so we decided to take Ballard into the Armory and we recorded him there for Vee Jay.

While recording, I was working with Ballard on material. Ballard had some terrific records on King such as “Work With Me Annie” and “Annie Had A Baby”, considered very risqué for their time. During the recording session at the Armory, Ballard played for me a very slow Bluesy tempo song that he called “The Twist”.

I remember Ballard’s guitar player, Cal Green, tuning up his guitar for “The Twist” in a much faster tempo than the slower Bluesy version. Green’s faster riff while tuning his guitar fit into the chord structure of what Ballard was singing to me. I turned to Ballard

and said, “Why don’t we take this Blues version and merge it with Green’s up tempo guitar riff and turn ‘The Twist’ into a dance record?”

We did just that and sent the tapes to Abner at Vee Jay in Chicago. After Abner received the tapes, he got a call from Syd Nathan, who stated, “That son-of-a-bitch Henry Stone had no right recording Hank Ballard. Ballard’s contract is up, but he owes me $300.00. If Ballard don’t pay me the $300.00, I’m going to sue you and Henry Stone and the whole world.” That was Nathan’s forte.

Abner called me and said, “Henry, I don’t want to get into a lawsuit with Nathan, he’s a pain in the ass! What do you want to do?” I told Abner that I would send him the $300.00 to give to Nathan to shut him up, but he had to send me all the copyrights for the $300.00. Abner agreed and said he would call Nathan with my proposal. A loss I have remembered for years! On an agreement we had made previously, Abner then sent me 10,000 free records as payment for my recording session with Ballard.

After Syd Nathan received the more up tempo version of “The Twist” from Abner, the version that I produced, Syd released “The Twist” as the B-side to Ballard’s #4 national hit, “Teardrops On Your Letter”. Chubby Checker (real name Earnest Evans) covered the song and took it to #1 twice in 1960 – 1962! “The Twist” would in time become the biggest teenage and adult dance craze in all of Rock history.

The version playing is a very rare alternative tke with no official ending that I found in my vaults after 44 years.

Apr 152005
 

Henry Stone, the legendary godfather of the Miami Sound and early innovator of Disco Music, won his claim in court that he is the owner of four original Ray Charles master recordings that were cut at his Miami studio in 1951. Stone’s claim was challenged by Joe Adams representing the estate of Ray Charles, but the Estate never responded to the legal questions of ownership and the Court awarded Stone the final judgment.

Stone said that back then Ray Charles was just another young musician in need of work. Though he was very good, he had not yet made a name for himself and Stone gave him time in the Studio to make the four recordings, “I Found My Baby”, “Walkin’ and Talkin’”, “Why Did You Go”, and “I’m Wondering and Wondering”. Stone recorded Charles at a time when he was recording soon to be other great artists – including Sam and Dave, Steve Alaimo, James Brown, and many others.

As was customary in those years for studio musicians, there were no contracts, musicians were paid as work-for-hire, and the record label owned the music recorded. There were no mega music companies and no mega music law firms; deals were man to man between honorable men in the business. The studio musicians were grateful for the work.

The estate was given the opportunity to respond through Stone’s law firm, but never did.

These historic and one of a kind recordings and many others are presented on Stone’s website, for all to enjoy at The Henry Stone Music Web Store.