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KC and the Sunshine Band

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.

 

Aug 302013
 

#FromTheArchives

This one is not very old, but it is a great article from the Miami Herald about the 1970s by Joe Cardona; how Henry Stone took KC and The Sunshine Band to worldwide success and together helped create one of the most popular music styles in history, right from a little studio in Hialeah, Florida.

From the article “But even more masterful – and what separates Stone from other great music impresarios – was his ability and his daring. He took chances on new sounds and developed unproven talent.”

(Click the image for a larger version)

miamiherald-joecordona-sm

Aug 282013
 

#FromTheArchives

This is where a lot of the action happened! Just a normal day at the TK Records offices. Makin’ hits. Hanging out with (left to right) Betty Wright; H.W. Casey (that’s KC and the Sunshine Band); our Italy sales rep; Willie Clarke sitting on my lap (why?); myself – Henry Stone on the phone, as always; Rick Finch (from KC and the Sunshine Band); and the ever-shirtless Latimore. There’s even an ad-proof for a Blowfly ad on the bulletin board in back. What a great time that was!

Henry Stone In Office Willie Clarke on Lap

Aug 052013
 
henrystoneandtkstaffcirca70s

Henry Stone with some of his TK Productions staff in the 1970s

Henry Stone’s TK Productions was a multicultural melting pot of singers, writers, producers, engineers, and artists from a world of different backgrounds, just like Miami. His studio’s famous open door policy welcomed any hard working talent the city offered. And though he specialized in rhythm and blues, he certainly recorded plenty of honky music. Here are the top 12 white artists who recorded for Henry Stone:

mercylovecanmakeyouhappy2
12. Mercy
The Song: “Love (Can Make You Happy)”
Mercy was a small group from Tampa whose big claim to fame was going to #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart. They originally recorded the song for the tiny Sundi label and released it nationally through Jamie Records in Philadelphia. However, a legal conflict involving that label’s use of the Mercy name to sell records on a completely different group led them back to Florida. Mercy approached Henry Stone, who signed the band, re-recorded their hit at his TK Studio in Hialeah, and then got the band a deal with Warner Bros/7 Arts for national distribution. The Warner Bros version became a hit while the Sundi version faltered. Then Stone recorded a whole album on the band, and that became a hit as well.

alkooper
11. Al Kooper
The Songs: “I Am Woman,” “Let Me Go Down” (Betty Wright), “Jolie,” “Be Yourself, Be Real” (Latimore)
According to Al Kooper’s own website, he was driving through Georgia when he heard Betty Wright’s “Cleanup Woman” on the radio for the first time and the intricate double guitar line blew his mind. He immediately traveled to TK headquarters in Hialeah and ran into his old buddy Steve Alaimo from Dick Clark’s “Where The Action Is.” He asked Alaimo if he could meet the three guitar players from “Cleanup Woman” and when Steve took him to meet Little Beaver his mind was blown once again. He stuck around in 1973 and produced, composed, arranged, and played on sides for Henry Stone’s Glades and Alston labels.

MikeBloomfield-EssentialBlues
10. Mike Bloomfield
The Album: Count Talent And The Originals
According to Henry Stone, “I don’t even really remember how that came about. Steve Alaimo made the deal to get that. It was cut somewhere else, some other studio, but we put it out on TK. It didn’t do too well either. But we were always expanding. Always looking out. We always kept our ears open. I concentrated on the r&b and disco side, and Steve was more into the rock stuff. So that’s how that happened.”

31stoffebruary
9. The 31st Of February
The Song: “Sandcastles”
The Album: Self Titled
The 31st Of February were a three man band from Jacksonville who met at FSU in 1965. They dropped out of college to pursue music full time and found gigs in Daytona, where they met the Allman Brothers, Duane and Gregg. The trio went down to Miami where they worked with producers Steve Alaimo and Brad Shapiro to create the Florida rock gem “Sandcastles,” which features organ backing by Latimore and Bobby “Birdwatcher” Puccetti. Their album came out on Vanguard Records. Drummer Butch Trucks later joined the Allman Bros. Band, singer Scott Boyer formed the band Cowboy, and bassist David Brown joined Boz Scaggs. Today, their album is considered a cult classic by the like of Steven Van Zandt on his undergound garage radio show.

kanescousinstheworld2

Photo by Sue Holt via Limestone Lounge

8. Terry Kane and Cousins
The Song: “Take Your Love and Shove It”
Terry Kane was less than 20 years old when he built Henry Stone’s 8 track studio in the small space above his distribution warehouse office. In fact, his initials became the name of the record label that would churn out over 25 gold records worth of hits, and over 100 million records sold. His own band, Cousins, a comedy rock group from Ft Lauderdale, were produced by Steve Alaimo and Brad Shapiro. Their 1969 release on their Shove Love vanity label was leased to Atlantic for national distribution and is today a rare and valuable commodity for record collectors.

Paul_Revere_and_the_Raiders_1968
7. Paul Revere and The Raiders
The Songs: “Ain’t Nothin’ Wrong,” “You’re Really Sayin’ Something”
Harry Wayne Casey and Richard Finch of KC & The Sunshine Band produced these tracks for the TK subsidiary label Drive. Steve Alaimo had known the band since they worked together on the Dick Clark produced tv show he hosted from 1965-67, “Where The Action Is.” However, the only band member who remained in the Drive incarnation was the band name’s copyright holder Paul Revere. He was joined by Carl Driggs from Kracker and Foxy, and they created these deviations from the rock sound the band was known for. Paul Revere’s original version of the band was r&b oriented though, so this was a return to his roots.

peterbrown001
6. Peter Brown
The Hits: “Do You Wanna Get Funky With Me,” “Dance With Me”
Peter Brown was a Chicago home-recorder who used to send demos to Henry Stone producer Cory Wade. When Stone heard a demo version of “Do You Wanna Get Funky With Me?” he was ready to release it as it. Brown protested that he needed to recut it in a professional studio and Stone agreed. The single subsequently became a monster hit, and the first 12″ record to sell a million copies. It is a hugely influential record in the world of electronic music. Peter Brown later went on to write the Madonna song “Material Girl.”

bobbycaldwellcatinthehat
5. Bobby Caldwell
The Hit: “What You Won’t Do For Love”
A leading progenitor of so called “blue eyed soul,” Bobby Caldwell was a white pop artist who Henry Stone broke through the world of R&B radio. On his first album, Stone kept Caldwell in silhouette on the record’s cover so that nobody would know he was white. The single “What You Won’t Do For Love” crossed over to the pop charts and became a big seller.

stevealaimo
4. Steve Alaimo
The Hit: “Every Day I Have To Cry Some”
Steve Alaimo was a University of Miami student from upstate New York singing in a band called The Redcoats when he met Henry Stone. Alaimo quickly went from opening local hops with that band to headlining for 6 months at the Eden Roc on Miami Beach, playing after hours jams across the bridge in Overtown, producing Sam&Dave’s first records, working as a promotion man for the greatest independent labels in the country, recording original tunes and covers, appearing on American Bandstand, hosting “Where The Action Is” for Dick Clark, performing sold out shows in Puerto Rico, and the Copa Cabana in New York City, becoming a star in El Salvador, recording an album entirely in Spanish, recording a ska album backed by Jamaican music pioneers The Blues Busters, and engineering sessions by obscure forgotten locals, and future stars alike. In the early 70s he became Stone VP at TK Productions where he was instrumental to the company’s success and the worldwide disco explosion. Steve Alaimo is a hero of independent music history.

duaneandgregallman
3. Duane and Gregg Allman
The Hit:Melissa
Not only did Duane and Gregg Allman cut sessions at Henry Stone’s TK Studios, they actually lived there for a couple of weeks at a time as they recorded demos for the Butch Trucks band 31st of February. One of the Allman Bros band’s most iconic songs, “Melissa,” was actually written by Steve Alaimo. Legend has it (according to Miami recording pioneer Howard Albert) that Tom Petty was in Miami messing around with them in the studio for his band Mudcrutch at the same time, though unfortunately no physical proof exists. Duane and Gregg’s recordings sat in the TK vaults till 1972 when they were released through Bold Records with several cuts controlled by Henry Stone’s Sherlyn publishing.

Wayne_Cochran_1969
2. Wayne Cochran
Known as the “White Knight Of Soul,” Wayne Cochran was a giant pompadoured one man wrecking ball of entertainment backed by an evershifting band of locktight syncopators. Here’s what Henry Stone himself had to say about him: “We recorded his last couple of records. When he was just about over, when his career was just about through, before he became a preacher, we cut some sides on him and put them out on Drive. Way before that I was actually sort of instrumental in getting him on Chess Records. Leonard Chess was staying at the Thunderbird Motel in Miami Beach and we went together to go see Wayne Cochran perform at The Barn, which was a club on the 79th Street Causeway. I encouraged Leonard to sign him. At the time it would have been sort of a conflict for me to record him at the same time as Steve Alaimo. They were both white with a similar sound. But of course later we ended up doing some sides with him.”

harry-wayne-casey
1. Harry Wayne Casey aka KC from KC and The Sunshine Band
The Hits: “Get Down Tonight,” “Boogie Shoes,” “Shake Your Booty,” “Keep It Comin Love,” “Please Don’t Go”
Harry Wayne Casey joined Henry Stone’s Tone Distribution company as a stockboy working in the warehouse. Stone took a shine to the kid and promoted him to making liquor store runs for his and James Brown’s post-work Cognac supplies. Eventually he let him mess around in the studio after hours with engineering intern Rick Finch and together they wrote and recorded George McCrae’s global disco hit “Rock Your Baby.” Soon they formed KC and The Sunshine Band, began recording their own material and 5 number one worldwide hits later KC’s name has forever been etched into the pantheon of dance music history. That is one funky honkey.

Jul 122013
 

From the Archives:

How about a Grammy Award!? Awarded to Henry Stone’s legendary publishing company, Sherlyn Publishing Co., which published some of the most popular songs of the time. “Where Is The Love” was performed by Betty Wright and produced by H.W. Casey and Rick Finch (of KC and the Sunsine Band) and Willie Clarke. The awesome horns were arranged by Mike Lewis and Willie Clarke. It was originally released on the Alston Records label, a division of T.K. Productions, Inc.

This is going to the HistoryMiami Archive for the Henry Stone Music Collection.

The text reads:
The National Trustees of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences Present this Certificate to Sherlyn Publishing Co. Publisher of the Grammy Award-Winning Composition “Where Is The Love” [written by] H.W. Casey – Richard Finch – Willie Clarke – Betty Wright In the Category of: Best Rhythm & Blues Song For the Awards Year 1975

grammyaward1975

Mar 172011
 

$15.98
Buy Now

iTunes
TRACKLISTING
1. Rockin’ Chair (with a little taste of Latimore)
2. Rock Your Baby Listen to a Sample Sample
3. What You Won’t Do For Love Listen to a Sample Sample
4. Jazz Freak
5. Please Don’t Go Listen to a Sample Sample
6. Let’s Straighten It Out (performed with Latimore) Listen to a Sample Sample
7. Keep It Comin’ Love (performed with KC) Listen to a Sample Sample
8. Why Can’t We Live Together (performed with Timmy Thomas) Listen to a Sample Sample
9. 90% Of Me Is You Listen to a Sample Sample
10. Clean Up Woman
11. Party Down
12. Misty Blue Listen to a Sample Sample
13. Honey Honey (performed with David Hudson)
14. You Gotta Love Me Like I Love Me (performed with KC)
15. Rockin’ Chair

AWARDS:
Jus Blues Magazine Best Blues & Soul Woman & Song Of The Year Award “Let’s Straighten It Out”

Picked Best Of 2006 By Soul-Patrol.com!

“TK Records wasn’t just a record label, it represented a sound, a sound so exciting and unique that it emerged as one of the most powerful forces in music, with artists whose recording, performing, writing, arranging, and production talents have commanded worldwide attention for four decades.

That is why fans from around the globe will hail this special album as both a tribute to one of the music industry’s most celebrated record labels, and as an essential reminder that great music performed by great musicians and artists not only stands the test of time, but can excite the spotlight all over again.”
Janet Oseroff

“Gwen McCrae does more than rock your chair, she’ll rock your soul!”
Bob Patten

“Gwen gives us soul and devotion in this project. Feel Gwen again and be forever touched! TK feels like home for Gwen!”
Glenn Rivera


To Order: Click the RED “Add To Cart” button below. Then, proceed to checkout.

Order Gwen McCrae Sings TK CD @ $15.98

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Mar 092011
 

Please Don’t Go has been re-released due to popular demand!
Gwen McCrae, along with the original TK artists that created so many smash hits, has recorded a 21st Century Interpretation of thirteen TK hits of the 70s on this new CD Gwen McCrae Sings TK. The original TK artists on this CD consist of Latimore on keyboard, Timmy Thomas on organ, Little Beaver on guitar, and George “Chocolate” Perry on bass and drums.
Buy It Now!

Gwen McCrae - Please Don't Go - 2010 Version
Runtime
4:04
View count
5,643

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™.

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 272008
 

Hi, Quick update.  Yesterday RJ Smith, Sr. Editor of L.A. Magazine flew into Miami to interview Henry Stone.  RJ is working on a book about James Brown and he had heard through the grapevine that Henry Stone and James Brown were very close friends from there first meeting, they just clicked.

Henry had driven to Macon, Ga. in his Buick because at that time people didn’t fly very much, the year was 1954.  Henry was partners with Syd Nathan at the time.  Henry owned Deluxe Records and Syd owned King records.  Syd had heard about a young singer in Georgia who was supposed to be great, so he called Henry and said, I think it would be a good idea to get to Georgia and check him out, at the same time there was another record man who worked A&R for King Records.

King  had a few different labels that they used to put there artists on, one of the labels was Federal and that was the one that Ralph Bass did the A&R for.  Syd also called Ralph to go to Georgia and because Ralph at the time was in Birmingham, Alabama, he got to Macon a day before Henry arrived from Miami and he signed James Brown to King’s Federal label.  Henry loved James Brown, he was blown away by his energy and his performance.

The song was “Please, Please, Please” and it became a hugh R&B hit, and James Brown and Henry Stone became lifelong friends. He believed in him and did whatever he could to get him out there for the world to hear and see him.  Henry  got him booked with his first major booking at The Palms of Hallendale in Florida where the owner Ernie Busker paid James Brown $300.00 for him and his band, which included Bobby Byrd and the Famous Flames.  During the show which was kind of an indoor/outdoor big nightclub  the crowd went wild, they loved him, they couldn’t get enough of James Brown’s electric energy, they wanted him back and so did Ernie Busker, Henry told Ernie that he could get James Brown back if he paid him an extra $2000.00 for his record breaking performance that night which Busker agreed to do  Henry handed James the extra $2000.00 and James never forgot him for that.

So, this was just one short story for the Editor to take home with him.  There were 2 1/2 hours more of information that Henry shared with RJ, both about himself and his own history making career in the music business and how and why Henry and James Brown stayed such close friends over the years.  A friendship that is sorely missed. This friendship was both personal and business, James Brown (and he insisted that everyone call him Mr. Brown, except for a very few people and Henry was one that could call him James, the professional part of the business was to the extent that before James would put a record out he would fly to where ever Henry was or Henry would fly to where James was and James insisted that Henry listen to it and tell him what he thought, whether it needed more work or  changes.

Henry was always honest with James.  If he thought it needed something he said so.  Henry was one of the only people that James Brown let in the studio with him when he was recording and Henry was one of the only people to produce James Brown.  Everyone referred to James Brown as the God Father of Soul and James Brown referred to Henry Stone as his God Father.  You can see an interview on Henrystonemusic.com web sit where James Brown is talking about Henry and the BrownStone  label he and Henry had together  it is from a time when James Brown was on the Larry King Show. Henry went to Augusta to say his final farewell to James Brown, but he will always miss him.

May 122006
 

Henry Stone Presents a Brand New CD by Gwen McCrae
Gwen McCrae Sings TK

Here it is, Gwen McCrae Sings TK.