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James Brown

Apr 222016
 

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R.I.P to the artist formerly known as The Artist Formerly Known As Prince.

This is what it sounds like when doves cry, my friend.

He was the Purple Alpha, the Minneapolis Omega, and a son of funk in the same league as James Brown and Little Richard.

Here’s what HenryStoneMusic’s own Joe Stone remembers of the Prince legacy, including a play by play recap from his famous Orange Bowl concert on Easter Sunday in Miami 1985.

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“Yknow, I remember leaving the TK Offices, the T.K. building on like a Tuesday afternoon, driving on LeJeune Road past the Miami Airport when the Playboy Club was still over there and for the first time hearing “When Doves Cry” come on the radio. And I was kinda like who the fuck is that? Cause it was so groundbreaking. It was. And it had these different arrangements and the guy was so versatile.”

“Not long before that he had a smash hit with “Little Red Corvette,” and I loved the extended version of that song, and that cool soulful vocal breakdown in the middle. And before that he had “I Wanna Be Your Lover,” and it was completely different. This guy was so incredibly different. A real musical chameleon.

He was really quite an innovator and I think he was misunderstood and probably had some social awkwardness with everyday life and reality because of the depth of his musical intelligence.”

Prince at Glam Slam on South Beach

Prince at Glam Slam on South Beach

“And I think we’ll discover more about Prince over the next 20 years than we know today because he was musically very far ahead of his time.

And he was quite the philanthropist at the same time. He did a lot of things without telling people. Without telling everyone, “Hey I did this.” He quietly did a lot of good for a lot of people.

He was also one of the first to have complete creative control over his work with Warner Brothers. I can’t remember his first manager’s name, but his deal with WB was that he had complete creative control of the process.”

Live from the Orange Bowl

Live from the Orange Bowl

“I saw him play live a couple times. I saw him at the Orange Bowl. Must have been 1985. It was a fuckin killer show at the Orange Bowl. He was on tour I’m pretty sure. The Purple Rain tour.

I remember he was running across the stage and he kinda tripped on one of the steps and fell down a little and then disappeared like he was embarrassed until the people started screaming and chanting and he came back out with a little sad face.

I can see it now.

He’s running and went to hit a step and missed it and went shboom! I was like oh shit, I hope he’s alright.

Shit looked like it musta hurt.”

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“He was amazing.

He definitely influenced fashion in a lot of ways. And he had this interesting way of introducing new artists and music to us.

He would present them like, these guys have been around. Like Morris Day and The Time. And the broad that was in the movie…..Voluptuous? It was interesting how he introduced artists he was involved in creating and producing. It was like a seamless way that they already existed and we should know them.

I loved Prince. He could get some real poppy stuff going, but he kept it soulful and funky and that’s what I love.

Soul, and funk, r&b. I feel that. And he was always able to keep that going. Even the more rock n rolly stuff.

He shall be missed. He was an amazing musician and amazing artist.”

R.I.P.

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Apr 052016
 
Alaimo and Stone

Steve Alaimo and Henry Stone in 2013 – Jake Katel

“When Steve Alaimo came back to Miami to join me in the record business he was working as a singer at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. He was just coming off hosting a nationally broadcast tv show called Where The Action Is.

He had a song on the charts called “Everyday I Have To Cry.”

He worked the Copa Cabana in New York City doing a whole nightclub act. He was a fantastic act, getting stronger and stronger.

One day I get a call from him and he says, “Henry. I wanna come back to Miami and be with you in the record business.”

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Feb 052016
 
King Coleman In The Miami Times Newspaper, 1958

King Coleman In The Miami Times Newspaper, 1958

“Milton “Butterball” Smith was the biggest DJ down here as far as I’m concerned, but King Coleman was very strong too. Y’know why he was so strong? He used to give the numbers on the air. Bolita. The numbers. When he broadcast on the radio, he used to give the numbers out, man, street lottery, for whoever ran it, the gangsters.

And then of course, I put him on a hit record, and after that he quit the radio and tried to make it as an artist.

Going into the 60s James Brown came down, man, with the whole band and got beat out of a date. So I says to James, “Come on in the studio. I saw a gig where you did somethin called Mashed Potatoes.”

I said, “I wanna record that.”

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Aug 112015
 

“The Federal Agents used to come look through my books trying to bust me for something. I don’t know what. They used to do the same thing to James Brown when they tried to bust him. But they didn’t. Then they went after his manager, Charles Bobbit. In fact, I got him off that. I went to the Grand Jury in Atlanta and testified when they were tryin’ to bust Bobbit. They had me in the Grand Jury and I said, “No, I never gave this guy anything.” I said, “I paid him for certain things, but I never gave him any money….to give to disc jockeys.” But anyway, I got him off. And he never forgot it.

Twenty years later or so I got a call from him. He says, “Henry, you gotta do me a favor.”

I says, “Whattaya want me to do man?”

At that time he was representing…he had a period of about 5 or 6 years between James Brown where he did his own thing, cause while he was with James in Africa, Charles met the King of the Congo, or someplace, and his son wanted to be a singer. The King figured that if Bobbit was good enough for James Brown then he must be good, and so, he got hired and he managed this kid.

Anyway, I get a call one day and Charles Bobbit says, “Henry, I wanna use your studio. I wanna record Prince so and so.”

So I sez, “Sure man, c’mon down.”

He brought the kid to the studio, recorded him, and he gave me $20,000 dollars. I said, “What the hell’s that for?” He says, “It’s payback man. I didn’t forget what you did for me. This is all oil money. It’s all the prince’s money.” I still talk to Charles Bobbit. Every once in a while he calls me. He was with James Brown when he died, and I was one of the first guys he called when he passed away. Charles Bobbit. Terrific guy. He worked hard, man. For James Brown.”

 

 

©HenryStoneMusic Inc. and Jake Katel. All Rights Reserved

Jul 162015
 

“Al Sharpton was a promotion man for James Brown. He was doin somethin…promotion…or he was like, uh, hangin out. Some of these guys, they’re like hangeronners yaknow, but let’s say I give him the benefit of the doubt that he did some actual promotion for him. That’s when I first met him, through James Brown. And through the years I met him a couple times.

I met him, let’s see….I was on a plane with my lawyer goin up to see Morris Levy cause I was getting ready to split the companies and everything, and Morris was goin’ to Australia before he got busted. And I remember at the airport I hear someone screaming “Henry Stone!!!”

He comes running over and it was Al Sharpton, he says, “Henry, man, I haven’t seen ya in years, c’mere I want you to meet somebody.”

He grabs me by the hand and introduces me to Don King. And he says to Don, “This is James Brown’s man, he’s the only white man you should trust.” Now, Don King, he trusts a lot of white men. He made a lot of money for white people on that boxing shit. Big hustla man, great hustla.

And then I saw Al Sharpton at James Brown’s funeral too. He was glad to see me. And then about a week later we had a big thing here at the Hard Rock Casino, sort of all the James Brown people came down, all those friends and buddies, Al Sharpton, Charles Bobbit, and I think Don King was there too promoting a fight. I remember after the fight we all went into the VIP room and had dinner together with Sharpton. I think that’s when my son Joe met Al Sharpton.”

 

©HenryStoneMusic Inc. All Rights Reserved

Jul 072015
 

“Going into the 1960s James Brown called me up one day and said, “Me and the band came down, got beat out of a date, we’re in Miami.”

I says, “Come on in the studio. I saw at a gig you did somethin called Mashed Potatoes.”

I told him, “I wanna record that.”

So we cut the Mashed Potato with the James Brown Band, with the JBs, but we called them Nat Kendrick, his drummer, and the Swans and that’s how we cut “(Do The) Mashed Potatoes”.

James was on there singing his ass off, but I had to take his voice off cause he was with King Records. I says, “James we can’t have your voice on there we gotta take your voice off,” so I put King Coleman on, the Disc Jockey, and of course that became a pretty big hit record

Now, I have the original recording with James Brown here if someday youd like to hear that.

So then later on, he left King Records, he went with Polydor Records , so he’s up in New York negotiating his contract with Polydor Records. It just so happened that we were at the Hilton, he was at the Maraquette, and I get a call from James. He says, “Henry where are ya Henry?”

I says, “I’m here in New York.”

He says, “Great! Come on over. I’m negotiating with Polydor and having a rough time, come on over.”

So it just so happened the president of Polydor was a good friend of mine, cause I distributed Polydor Records and I come over and James is there with his entourage With Hendry his hairdresser and everyone else. Al Sharpton. The whole crew.

So Polydor’s President calls me over to the side and says, “I think they’re gonna throw me outta the fuckin window here, you gotta help me!”

I said, “Ok whats the problem?”

See I happen to know from bein in the street and knowin the business, and Polydor knew that James was breaking out in Europe and all over the world very big. Maybe James didn’t know that at the time, cause he was always right here in the states, but I knew from my street information that his records were breaking out all over the world, very big, and his contract was up for a negotiation yknow.

So I says, “James, whattaya want?

He says, “I want a jet.”

A jet? I says okay and so I says to the Polydor pres, “You want this thing to go down where everything is cool, get James Brown a jet plane.”

Now they wouldna done it unless they knew his record was huge around the world cause his records weren’t doing that great here in the states at the time, they were doin good, cause he had a pretty good fan base, but where people would sell a half a million records, James was down to 2 or 3 hundred thousand in the states, but around the world in every other country his records were huge in the dance clubs, the pre discos in Europe.

And that’s how I got James Brown a jet from Polydor.”

©HenryStoneMusic Inc. and Jacob Katel. All Rights Reserved