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.”

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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.

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Jul 302013

Miami is one of the group’s I had, also known as The Notorious Miami Band, and they came up with their own funky sound that they had. I didn’t even find them, Miami found me. Roach Thompson was in that band. He got his name from a song they had called “Kill That Roach.” That was a song that anybody in South Florida could relate to just based off the name alone. “Party Freaks” too for that matter. The record came out in 1974. Robert Moore was a great singer that people just liked. I think he did some work with Little Beaver. He had that Beaver sound. This song is written by Clarence Reid and Willie Clarke. The record it came out on was the Party Freaks LP on my Drive label. Steve Alaimo engineered it.

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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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Aug 162012

Miami – The Party Freaks $12.98

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1. Hey Ya’ll, We’re Miami
2. Funk It Up
3. Nobody But You Babe
4. Freak On Down My Way
5. Party Freaks (Part Two)
6. Party Freaks
7. I Can See Through You
8. Same Ol’ Beat
9. Chicken Yellow

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Aug 162012

Notorious by Miami $12.98

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1. Kill That Roach
2. Hold On To What You Got
3. Mr. Notorious
4. If You Love Me (Like You Say You Love Me)
5. I’ll Hold the Groove
6. I Can’t Help Myself
7. Do It Together
8. Come Dance With Me

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Oct 132011

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1. Edna Mae
2. Ghetto Girl
3. ‘Nanna Puddin’
4. I See Love
5. In The Mist Of Making Love
6. My Give A Damn Gave Out
7. Honeymoon
8. Love Hit Me
9. Wake Up America
10. Miami

Henry Stone, founder and owner of famed TK Records, and Latimore, of “Let’s Straighten It Out” fame, are back together and have created the new LatStone Record Label.

The new label venture came about in mid-2006 while Henry Stone was working on the latest Gwen McCrae album in “Chocolate” Perry’s South Florida recording studio. Coincidentally, Latimore was also working on his newest album project in the same studio.

Stone and Latimore have a rich history together in the music business. Although they had been apart for some years, they have always remained good friends.

On breaks during the recording sessions, Latimore expressed his interest in working with Stone again. They struck a deal to launch the new LatStone Record Label. The first release would be Latimore’s new album BACK ‘ATCHA. This was the first time that Latimore would have full creative control on his work since he had last been with Stone.

Stone and Latimore began their working relationship in the late sixties when keyboard player and singer Latimore was brought to Stone’s attention by Steve Alaimo. Stone arranged a recording session for Latimore and they had quite a few successful records.

In late 1973, they hit pay dirt when they recorded a remake of the old blues classic “Stormy Monday” which was released on Stone’s Glades label. The single charted high on the Billboard R&B charts. After this single, Benny Latimore dropped his first name and forever more went by Latimore.

In September of 1974, Latimore recorded his self-penned “Let’s Straighten It Out” which hit Gold with a #1 single on the Billboard R&B charts, as well as crossing over to the Pop charts.

Latimore’s latest album Back ‘Atcha is a unique blend of soul and blues with a hint of funk and the signature smooth, rich vocal style that lifted Latimore to the top of the Billboard R&B and Pop charts. Latimore employed some of his favorite musicians to work on this album. George “Chocolate” Perry played bass and drums, not to mention that he engineered the entire album. Chocolate is the ultimate professional. He has toured with the Bee Gees, Crosby, Stills & Nash and Joe Walsh.

Next on Latimore’s list was a true blues icon in the south, Mr. Roach Thompson. Roach is not only a musician’s musician, but he too has jumped into the technical side of the business as a mastering engineer and was the man who mastered the new Latimore CD.

Michael Gauthier played some key horn parts for the album, hitting the groove in just the right spots.

Latimore played all other parts on the Back ‘Atcha album. He is very pleased with the results on this production. One highlight that stands out is his decision to use a skill that he perfected on the road, but had yet to use in the studio. On his Yamaha Motif Keyboard he has introduced the sound of a solo guitar, saxophone and trumpet, playing solos that are hard to tell from the real thing. Latimore did this as an artistic decision.

Latimore and Stone have joined forces again and produced another chart-topping album.

“It’s been a joy teaming up with Latimore again to form the new LatStone Record Label with Latimore singing in his great soulful style for the new album Back ’Atcha.” ~ Henry Stone

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Jun 152011

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1. Betty Wright – Clean Up Woman Listen to a Sample Sample
2. Jimmy Bo Horne – Spank Listen to a Sample Sample
3. Little Beaver – Party Down Listen to a Sample Sample
4. Gwen McCrae – Rockin’ Chair Listen to a Sample Sample
5. Steve Alaimo & Betty Wright – The Smoke Is Gone Listen to a Sample Sample
6. Latimore – Let’s Straighten It Out Listen to a Sample Sample
7. Peter Brown – Do You Wanna Get Funky With Me Listen to a Sample Sample
8. The Charms – Hearts Of Stone Listen to a Sample Sample
9. Timmy Thomas – Why Can’t We Live Together Listen to a Sample Sample
10. Foxy – Get Off Listen to a Sample Sample
11. T-Connection – Do What You Wanna Do Listen to a Sample Sample
12. Clarence Reid – Nobody But You Babe Listen to a Sample Sample
13. Wilson Pickett – The Best Part Of A Man Listen to a Sample Sample
14. Miami f/ Robert Moore – Party Freaks Listen to a Sample Sample
15. James Brown – Rapp Payback Listen to a Sample Sample

Henry Stone is noted as one of the handful of individuals that started the independent movement in the music business. His involvement was key in bringing the music industry to the world. Henry Stone, dubbed the Godfather of Florida & Miami Soul, R&B, Blues, & Dance, has been an instrumental part of the music industry in Miami and throughout the world as both an independent record label owner and distributor. Stone found his niche after WW II by selling records from the trunk of his car.

In the early 1950s he was one of the first to record Ray Charles. He found and recorded James Brown as early as 1955. Also in 1955 he had his first million selling record with the Charms singing “Hearts of Stone”. In the 1960s Stone became the largest independent record distributor in the Southeast, distributing for Atlantic, Warner Bros., Motown, Stax and many more. At the time these were all independent record labels. Stone started the Miami Music craze in the late 1960s with million sellers from artists like Beginning of the End “Funky Nassau”, Clarence Reid “Nobody But You Babe”, Betty Wright “Clean Up Woman” and others. Stone’s biggest label, TK Records, was founded in the 1970s and charted 23 gold and platinum records worldwide. He discovered KC & The Sunshine Band and other million sellers including George McCrae, Gwen McCrae, Latimore, Timmy Thomas, Peter Brown and many more.

Hidden Treasures is a collection of some of the Legendary Henry Stone’s favorite songs from his labels 1950 – 1980. Vol. 1.

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Mar 112011

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1) Respect Listen to a Sample Sample
2) I’ll Be Damned If It’s Me
3) This Time Tomorrow
4) What Am I Gonna Do Listen to a Sample Sample
5) More Of A Woman
6) Push Me Back In The Corner
7) That’s How It Is When You Are In Love
8) New York City

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Mar 102011

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1. I Got a Thing For You Baby; Mr. Perculator
2. Nasty Dog; The Mighty Dogcatchers
3. Soul Food; Franky Seay
4. It’s Gonna Be a Mess; The Mighty Dogcatchers Listen to a Sample Sample
5. Look What You Can Get; Funky Nassau
6. Funky Cat; James Knight
7. I’m Afraid of the Dark; Jonny K
8. Cutting Room (Hot Pants); Oceanliners
9. Across the Tracks; The Believers
10. Lay It On Me Baby; Willie Johnson
11. It’s Allright; Oceanliners Featuring Hoss
12. Hey Sexy; King Tutt
13. At The Disco Dance; Wizdom Listen to a Sample Sample
14. Sock It; The Original Cousins

In the 1960’s and early 1970’s Henry Stone started to record a some local Miami talent. Stone was strongly influenced musically by his association with James Brown and you can hear this influence in the artists who make up this Miami Funk CD.

Mr. Percolator aka Perk Badger, I Got A Thing For You Baby
It is easy to hear that James Brown was Percolator’s inspiration and primary motivator. Perk Badger was a businessman who owned several record shops in Miami and would buy his records from Henry Stone’s Tone Distributors. Badger was very popular on the club scene and the ladies loved him. He was indeed the “Percolator.”

The Mighty Dog Catchers, Nasty Dog
This was the weirdest band I have ever had the pleasure to know and produce. They were a one-take band; the recording was done and hot to go. Their style of music was comic-relief during the turbulent days of the late 60’s and 70’s. They were a product of Deep City Records in Liberty City which was owned by two schoolteachers, Willie Clarke and Johnny Persall. Band members included Charlie Smith on guitar, Reed Roberts on bass, Vernon “Piggy” Teague on saxophone, Clifford Hawkins on drums, and King Edwards on keyboards.

Franky Seay, Soul Food
Seay is a unique example of what Miami Beach was about in the 60’s and 70’s. The bands were loose and funky and had a certain sound that made them different. Seay was a talented guitarist and well liked. His loose, carefree rhythm was a unique mixture of island and big city feel.

The Mighty Dogcatchers, It’s Gonna Be A Mess
This recording is a part two version of Nasty Dog. It was the first and maybe the only recording on the Green Gold label owned by Willie Clarke. The group was a very talented and funny band; they will make you laugh out loud.

Funky Nassau, Look What You Can Get
This band consisted of four members, Arnold “Hoss” Albury on keyboard, Ivan “Cool Breeze” Orlando on drums, Charles “Carlos” Hepburn on bass and lead vocals, and Simeon Taylor on guitar. The Horns of many Deep City and T.K. Records in the early days came from the famous Marching 100 of FAMU, consisting of Aaron Johnson and Willie North on trombone and Earl Bethel and Earl Finley on trumpet. Ivan Orlando played on two gold hits, Clean Up Woman with Betty Wright and Rockin Chair with Gwen McCrea. Check out the unique grooves on these classics. This group played on the original Blowfly x-rated albums. They were also, with the exception of The Horns, Betty Wright’s tour band. They were very exciting and entertaining in their colorful tapestry/designer uniforms. With Hoss on the organ B3, they sounded like a 10 piece band. This group set the pace as the foundation of the T. K. era and Miami Funk. They were so hot that they had to have three names to make way for releases, Funky Nassau, The Rising Sun, and Arnold Albury And The Casuals.

James Knight And The Butlers, Funky Cat
When Hoss Albury’s band was on other missions, James Knight And The Butlers was the group to call. This band was the number one Miami and Miami Beach band of the funk era. With his unique lead vocal and versatile guitar licks, James Knight was the king. He could play anything. With his blend of Bahamian and Miamian culture, he was known to rock the studio when he recorded. This was the band to beat when it came down to the competition. Blowfly aka Clarence Reid used them for most of his albums in the early days. Produced, co-written, and engineered by yours truly (Willie Clarke), James Knight And The Butlers made my job easy and enjoyable. This talented young group consisted of James Knight on lead vocals and guitar. Robert “Blind” Jackson was known at that time to be the best drummer of all the bands. Napoleon Reed was on bass; he played with everybody. Just show him the gig and he knew everybody’s music and style. Keyboards were handled by Arnold “Hoss” Albury who could and did play with every band in town. Ernest “Snuff” Stewart played with James Brown for a while. The Horns consisted of Dwight Jones on saxophone and Tim Brown on brass. Ernest Bethune went from being drum major at Miami Northwestern to drum major at FAMU, home of the Marching 100 plus in the mid-sixties.

Johnny K, I’m Afraid Of The Dark
He was a natural for singing the funny songs written by Clarence Reid and Willie Clark, with a naturally comic-sounding style. His moves in the studio and onstage made him a big hit from his hometown of Tampa and everywhere he appeared with his band. If you need to laugh, listen to Johnny K, he will brighten your day. His first release was on the Deep City label.

Oceanliners, Cutting Room (Hot Pants)
The band consisted of Jerome Smith on guitar, Robert Johnson aka Shotgun on drums, and Anthony Turner on bass. The horns were led by Jerome’s brother, Ronald Smith, who played trumpet. This band was Betty Wright’s first show band. They were the youngest of all the artists I produced. They played on countless hits for T. K. and eventually became The Sunshine Band of KC and The Sunshine Band fame. This group helped shape the fabulous era of disco worldwide. The youngest band member, Anthony Turner, was replaced by Rick Finch, who surprised everyone with his skills on bass.

The Believers, Across The Tracks
The Believers were a hip group that will enhance this Miami Funk CD with their truly funky groove, fuel, and sound.

Willie Johnson, Lay It On Me
Brought to T. K. by David Smith out of Tampa, Willie Johnson, a native of Atlanta, was just what David said, a fantastic, soulful R & B singer with personality and good looks. In other words, he could do the job and sell records. Willie Johnson’s only obstacle was that he was not living in Miami, to be closer to his writers and producers, Clarence Reid and Willie Clarke. His music has become a favorite among collectors around the world.

Oceanliners featuring Willie Clarke, It’s All Right
This song brought the freak out in me. I took my feel and my limited passion and gave my rendition of a funky rapp instrumental. I don’t want to elaborate on this, just get into the sensual sound of Willie “Bossdog” Clarke and the Oceanliners because “It’s All Right”.

King Tutt, Hey Sexy
King Tutt, with a jazzy funky style out of Montgomery, was introduced to T. K. Productions via Joyce Straws, head of promotions and studio manager. This song had a well groomed and rehearsed sound that stood out from the Miami based T. K. bands, which had a raw and let-it-go style. Most bands had whites, latinos, and blacks. King Tutt was black all the way and had great vocals to go along with it.

Wizdom, At The Disco Dance
My best friend, the late, great Anthony “Tony” Ward, lead guitarist on Wizdom, also played lead guitar on Anita Ward’s Ring My Bell. I remember Tony as highly hyper and he would dance constantly while onstage. Tony’s band featured Walt Harris on lead vocals and drums.

The Original Cousins, Sock It
This is, by far, the earliest sound of Miami. Originating from Overtown out of the Fiesta Club, 1959-61, this was one of Deep City’s first releases headed by Lorenzo “Billy” Jackson. This band is a perfect example of the history of the funky Miami sound. Lorenzo was one of the top saxophone players in the country and played mostly on Miami Beach during the Deco era. Return with us now to the golden days of yesteryear and the funky sound of Sock It.

After listening to volume one of this great Miami funk CD, keep your ears open for the forthcoming Miami Funk series.

Stories contributed by Willie “Bossdog” Clarke.

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