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).


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

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
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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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