KC and the Sunshine Band

Aug 132015

“I had a conversation with Berry Gordy one day. The founder of Motown. He called me up when I got hot with TK in the 1970’s. He said, “Henry what the fuck are ya doin,” cause I was his distributor too. I was a Motown distributor, and TK was goin crazy, but Motown was in a low period. In the 60s they were huge, and are still very big. But in the 70s, I ruled the world.

So Berry Gordy said to me, “Whatareya doin!?!”

I said, “I’m doing what you were doin in the 60s.”

And we were talkin about how his artists were accusing him of beatin em out of all this money, but you gotta rememebr in those days when we sold a million records it was a million 45s, and artists got paid 3 cents a record royalty.

If you sell a million LP’s, you’re getting a buck 50 a record, so there was no comparison. He said, “No motherfucker, I paid every nickel, it was on 45s not LP’s.

Now KC? He got all his money on his LPs. He got every nickel. KC was real cool. Course he had this bitch working for him, Sherry Smith, and she sat right next to my bookkeeper every day and knew that everything was happening. I’d give him his royalties every month practically. Which was good, he was takin care of business.”

©HenryStoneMusic Inc All Rights Reserved

Jul 082015

“I was a distributor when CD’s came in. That’s what almost killed me. I hadda buy all those CDs! Along with still carrying LP’s, you hadda give em an order for, let’s say in the very beginning when the CDs first came out…Let’s say you were gonna order 100 units of something, you’d order 60 LPs and 40 CDs and then of course it started to change. You started ordering 60 and 40 the other way, then 70 and 30, and then eventually the LPs got eliminated and it was all CDs. Everything came out on CD form.

And I was a distributor. I was there. I was a distributor right through…even when I had TK, I had Tone Distributing.

I didn’t give up my distribution. In fact, today Inez is going out with Cheryl Regan who’s Russ Regan’s wife, and 20th Century is one of the labels I actually distributed when I had TK. I had big records with Barry White and “Kung Fu Fighting,” those were both Russ Regan yknow.

So I still had my Tone Distributing while I had TK. Thats when I became so huge that whoooo…hahaha. Tone wasn’t as big cause the independents started to do their own thing, their own distrobutions, Motown, Warner Bros, Atlantic yknow, and then suddenly labels like Arista, I had Arista which was Clive Davis, he ended up selling out to Columbia by the way, so I lost that line yknow.

TK became my big million dolla….multi million dolla operation with all those hit records. Hit artists. I built KC and The Sunshine Band, I built Latimore, I built George McCrae, I built Gwen McCrae, Jimmie Bo Horne, Little Beaver, Blowfly, Betty Wright….I built these artists just like Motown did their artists. I didn’t have just one hit. Every once in a while I’d get a one hit artist, same with Motown havin a one hit artist, but most of their things were building Supremes and the Tempts, they built their artists. I built my artists too like KC, I had 6 number one records with KC and three platinum LPs yknow. LPs. It was still LP time yknow in the 70s

I never became RIAA certified, I never joined that organization. I thought they were full of shit, just a way to rip the majors off, but the majors were in there they like controlled it yknow. All the majors were a part of it. They tried to get me join and I said nah man that’s a majors thing I dont wanna get involved with that. I just turned em down. I member a lot of the independents turned em down. I know Morris Levy never used the RIAA. They knew it was controlled by the majors. Big business. That was all part of it.


©HenryStoneMusic Inc. All Rights Reserved

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


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)


Aug 282013


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

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:

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.

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.

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.”

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.


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.

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.

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.”

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.

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.

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.

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.”

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.