Steve Alaimo

Nov 132013

When Steve Alaimo was in college he had a band called the Redcoats. Around that time, he started hangin’ around with me as a promotion man, sort of a hangaround guy, and I’d take him up to Ernie Busker’s place, the Palms Of Hallandale to see BB King and James Brown. I think it really influenced his sound and the way he sung and the way he performed. Man, Steve was great on stage.

Later I got him on as the opener for James Brown for a stadium show in Miami, and after the gig James said to me “Don’t ever let that whiteboy on before me again.” That’s how good Steve was. James didn’t want him stealing any of his thunder.

When he was first starting out he played rooms like The Eden Roc on Miami Beach and later the big room at the Diplomat Hotel. He was doing standards, show tunes, good ol music, yaknow…music.

William Morris was the first agency to handle him and one of his first agents was Famous Amos. That’s what he did before the cookies, he was Steve’s talent agent at the William Morris Agency.

I’d say that Steve was really the first blue eyed soul singer to come along yaknow.


Henry Stone

Nov 052013

Sam Moore came down and did the interview for my movie “Rock Your Baby.” He was in the group Sam & Dave, who are the biggest selling duo in the history of music.

I used to see em’ play over at the King Of Hearts in Liberty City. Guy named John Lomelo owned the club and was also basically their manager.

Steve Alaimo worked with Sam and Dave here in Miami. He worked the clubs like the Knight Beat and The King Of Hearts with them. And then he produced some records on them for my Alston and Marlin Records that ended up on Roulette. Those were the first sides they ever cut. Later I was instrumental on their recording with Isaac Hayes and David Porter down at Stax for Atlantic, but that’s another story.

You’ll hear all about it in the movie.

Steve went down to a little club in Downtown Miami and met up with Sam Moore there and my movie director Mark Moorman and his film crew, and they shot some helluva scene there. Steve was the one who really produced their records down here. They also filmed at the Criteria Studios yknow, now it’s called the Hit Factory. That’s where they cut some of those Alston and Marlin records that ended up on Roulette.

Steve said it went over very good. They were just talking about old times, talkin about Sam Cooke and some of the old artists that used to come down.They said the filming went very good. Mark Moorman the director was very happy

I havent spoken to Sam Moore in 50 years now. I’m really happy for his success. He’s still out there. Still working. Apparently doing real good for himself.

The reports I’m getting on the film is that they’re just about through filming. The next phase is the editing and the post production, which, should start immediately yaknow.

The film should be released by the middle of 2014.

Aug 122013

Steve Alaimo and Henry Stone in 2013

Steve Alaimo once outperformed James Brown as his opener at a Miami stadium show. James Brown went backstage and told Henry Stone, “Don’t you ever let that whiteboy on before me ever again!”

Steve Alaimo Henry Stone

Steve Alaimo and Henry Stone at a party

Alaimo has been with Henry Stone since he was a University of Miami student playing in a college band called The Redcoats. He played weekend hops (which is what the dances were called at the time), sang in lounges, wrote and recorded music, managed acts, worked in TV, A&R’d, promoted records, engineered, produced, toured, and eventually became VP of TK Productions, the largest independent record company in the world throughout the 1970’s.

He also helped discover Sam & Dave (“Hold On, I’m Comin'”, “Soul Man”) one of the top selling and charting duos in the history of recorded music. Most people don’t know that they formed in and began on the Miami talent show circuit. Here are some of Alaimo’s recollections on their early days.

“I found Sam & Dave at the King of Hearts Club in Liberty City. I sang at King of Hearts too, in fact Sam and Dave were my opening act. They opened up the show and I came on next. Man, that was great in those days.”

Shop For Twist With Steve Alaimo on Henry Stone Music

“Put it this way, my dressing room was John Lomelo’s office. He was the club’s owner. And in the door, there were bullet holes in it. So when you dressed, the people were lookin’ in through the bullet holes.

Daily Sun Steve Alaimo Ad 11-26-61

Daily Sun Steve Alaimo Ad November 26, 1961

There was an office in the back. The crowd was in the front. and the stage was a small riser, and the stage was a dance floor, so you sang on the dance floor if you were an act. If you were a band then you got on the riser, which was only about a foot high.

Those crowds were great. They knew how to appreciate everything. If you were good, they liked ya. If you weren’t, they didn’t make any bones about it.”

Shop for Steve Alaimo 50’s – 70’s Double CD on Henry Stone Music

“John Lomelo ended up being the mayor of Sunrise. Went to jail for some kind of bullshit. Big white guy. Big burly guy, and he was Sam and Dave’s manager cause he said “I’m your manager.” A tough guy. While he was mayor he went and got arrested, went to jail, came out of jail, and they made him mayor again. They didn’t care because there was no crime in Sunrise. He didn’t take no shit.”

“Back to Sam & Dave. First, I made their records for Henry Stone on Marlin Records, and then we put them with Roulette Records in New York, and put two or three records out, “No More Pain” and a bunch of those things. I wrote their first song, “No More Pain.” Then I went to California to do the show “Where the Action Is” with Dick Clarke on ABC. Henry sent Sam & Dave to Stax….called up Atlantic and Atlantic didn’t do anything with them, so Atlantic sent them to STAX, where Isaac Hayes and David Porter started producing them. And the rest is history.”

Aug 092013


Rock Your Baby

A documentary on the life of Henry Stone and the music from Miami that changed the world.

On Thursday, August 8th, Henry Stone Music and Beacon Films hosted a fundraising reception to introduce the community to the upcoming documentary Rock Your Baby. Rock Your Baby is a uniquely American story of how a group of individuals with raw talent and diverse backgrounds, led by the indefatigable determination and genius of one man, exported the music of Miami to the world. That man is Henry Stone. Over sixty invited guests enjoyed clips from the movie and were introduced to the creators, the Producers Mitchell and Debra Egber, Director Mark Moormann, and, of course, the man himself, Henry Stone. Appetizing hors d’eouvres were provided by Chef Inspired Creations.

For more information about the film and the history, check out the Rock Your Baby Movie website. Contributions to the film may be made through the fiscal sponsor, Life Is Art.

Photographs courtesy Anthony Jordon.

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.

May 102013
Sam & Dave

Sam & Dave

Ask any real soul connoisseur who their favorite group is and Sam & Dave will likely be in their top 5. Likewise, ask anybody age 5 to 95 if they’ve ever heard the song “Hold On, I’m Comin’,” or “Soul Man,” and they’ll probably sing you the words.

That’s because Sam & Dave are one of the most successful pop duos in the history of recorded music. From 1964-70 they ruled the Hot 100 with 13 straight appearances and two top 10 singles.

But most people don’t know that the group hails from Miami and were discovered by, and first recorded for Henry Stone and Steve Alaimo.

There was a little club in the heart of the Liberty City projects called the King Of Hearts owned by one John Lomelo. In later years he would become ‘mayor for life’ of the small burg of Sunrise, FL before eventually being indicted for corruption and then being re-elected.

Steve Alaimo used to work the club sometimes as a singer, and Henry used to hang out there a couple nights a week. “John Lomelo was a great guy. I used to love that place,” says Stone.

Sam & Dave were on the talent show circuit of the era, and were known for an explosive live performance that brought the church-feel to the nightclub, and through a combination of powerful singing, dance moves, and on-stage chemistry, they would turn the club out every time they hit the stage.

Alaimo produced and Stone released a few sides on his Marlin and Alston labels. Then he leased a couple of em’ to Roulette Records produced by Henry Glover. They sold what they sold, which wasn’t much, but the group’s talent would not be denied.

One night Henry Stone took Jerry Wexler of Atlantic Records to watch them play at King Of Hearts and he was blown away. Soon Sam and Dave signed a recording contract with Atlantic.


Wexler asked Stone what he thought of his recording them through STAX, and Stone suggested he have a couple of young producers he’d been keeping tabs on produce the records. So Isaac Hayes and David Porter took on the project, had Booker T & The MGs back the group, and the rest is history.



Feb 252013

On February 19th, TK Records Greats Came Together at the Legendary Audiovision Studios to Film for the Upcoming Henry Stone Documentary

The gathering of some of the greatest artists in history was captured by Jake Katel of the Miami Miami New Times. Many of the greats were in attendance, including George McCrae, Timmy Thomas, Latimore, Little Beaver, Chocolate Perry, Clarence Reid, Willy Clarke, Steve Alaimo, Joe Stone, and of course, the man himself, Henry Stone. The award-winning director of the film, Mark Moormann, was there with the whole Beacon Films crew.

Click the Image Below for the Full Story!


Jun 152011

Buy Now


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 222011
Steve Alaimo at All Shook Up Premiere Party Deauville Hotel
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Steve Alaimo, famous Miami singer from the 1960s, performing “Every Day I Have To Cry Some” at the WLRN “All Shook Up” Premiere party at the Deauville Hotel on Miami Beach, October 24, 2008. Steve Alaimo recorded for the Legendary Henry Stone in the 1950s and 60s.

Steve now runs Adiovision Studios.

Mar 162011

ON SALE! $39.98
Originally $99.95 for the 2-book set
Buy Now

A cross-refenced encyclopedia of over 250 Florida and Florida-related recording artists, groups, as well as famed producers, promoters, studios and dance halls. Fully illustrated throughout with photographs of band members, label covers, and promotional materials.

2 Book Set
Over 1000 total pages of information.

Forward by Henry Stone

Praise for “Florida’s Famous & Forgotten”

Being a native Floridian and a music lover, I found this book to be incredible. I learned so much from reading it. It made me very proud to be a Floridian, knowing so much talent was hatched in this state.
Tedd Webb, co-host AM Tampa Bay Newsradio 970 WFLA, author of “Tedd Webb’s Trivia” and “Butt, Of Course”.

Fabulous! This Florida music encyclopedia captures the entire state’s rich music history from the early ’50s up to the second wave of the ‘Miami Sound’ in the mid-1980s. Virtually no one has been overlooked or forgotten. First encyclopedia I’ve ever seen that actually got my birthplace and date of birth correct!
Steve Alaimo, famous 1950s-’60s teen idol and former host of ABC’s 1960s teen dance show “Where The Action Is” (one of Miami’s greatest entertainers ever!)

Although I recorded only one rock ‘n’ roll single in my entire recording career for Decca Records, I felt very honored to be included in this extraordinary Florida state encyclopedia on Florida rock, soul and dance music. I was emotionally touched at how intricately detailed Kurt Curtis was in preserving my musical career. His encyclopedia is the Bible of the Florida music scene – an incredible feat and accomplishment.
Lenny Dee, world-renowned legendary organ stylist

Kurt, thanks for all your hard work and excellence in documenting the history of music in Florida.
Larry Howard, founding member of Southern rock band GrinderSwitch

Every Florida performer or band that ever landed a major record deal is listed alphabeticaly, from the Allman Brothers to Ray Charles, from Tom Petty to an obscure late-’60s rock band called the Zig Zag Paper Company. Curtis has compiled detailed biographies, full discographies and more facts than the bands might remember.
Dave Scheiber, St Petersburg Times

If there was a patron saint for forgotten Florida musicians, Kurt Curtis would have the honors.
Charles Passy, Palm Beach Post

I think it’s great what you are doing, and I thank you for it. Can’t wait to see this encyclopedia.
Charlie Souza, lead vocalist on the all-time classic “Time”, bass guitarist for Tampa’s legendary Tropics

We checked out your website and love the idea with your book. I think that the ’80s freestyle scene created a strong impact on many people and will continue to be in the hearts of many. Your book is a great source to relive some of those memories and would be a treasure for many music lovers past or present.
Jorge A. Ojeda,, Freestyle Force

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

Order Florida's Famous & Forgotten 2-Book Set Books @ $49.95

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Mar 152011

Buy Now


1) Mashed Potatoes, Part 1 Listen to a Sample Sample
2) Ooh, Poo-Pah-Doo Listen to a Sample Sample
3) She’s My Baby
4) I Like It Like That
5) Peanut Butter
6) You’re So Fine
7) Mashed Potatoes, Part 2
8) Ya-Ya
9) Hully Gully With Me
10) Heart Break
11) Baby What You Want Me To Do
12) I Got A Woman Listen to a Sample Sample

Steve Alaimo is what I call a “Musical Triple-Threat” man. Yes, this versatile, multi-talented youngster holds his audience whether he’s singing, playing an instrument, or dancing the latest steps. Patrons of Harry’s American Bar in Miami’s famed Eden Roc Hotel never know what to expect when Steve steps on the stage. Sometimes he will spend most of his time alternativing with guitar, harmonica, and organ. Other times he’ll be in a “wailing” groove that builds and builds with each song he sings. On other sets he works out new dance steps with his partners… right in front of his appreciative audience. “Exciting” is the word most used to describe Steve’s antics, whether visual or audio.

In this second album by Steve, he introduces you to “The Mashed Potatoes,” the newest dance sensation to sweep the country. Actually, Steve has been mashin’ those potatoes for almost three years. But, like the Twist, it took the second time around for Mashed Potatoes to gain a national acceptance among both teenagers and adults. At this point it looks as though Mashed Potatoes will be the dance of ’62, just as the Twist was the sensation of ’61.

No on has done more than Steve Alaimo to promote the Mashed Potatoes as a dance. Steve, along with countless others, now have seen their efforts pay off. So… let yourself go! Just set this record on the turntable, flip the switch, (and let the non-dancers step back), and get set to do the Mashed Potatoes!
Original notes by Shelly Keats

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