Timmy Thomas

Jun 072016

Willie Clarke, Clarence Reid, George Perry, George McCrae, Timmy Thomas, Willie Hale, Jimmy Bo Horne, Paul Lewis, Steve Alaimo, Henry Stone, Benny Latimore – (photo – ©Jake Katel)

T.K. Productions is a global institution on the level of Motown Records.

The above photo was taken behind the scenes of the documentary filming of the movie about Henry Stone’s life and work in the music business.

That film is called Record Man and it won the Orlando International Film Festival.

A distribution deal for wide release is currently in the works with a major company.

Look out for more great news soon from HenryStoneMusic Inc. With a catalog as deep as the Marianna Trench you can be sure that more great everything is on the way!



©Jake Katel and HenryStoneMusic Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Mar 102016

T.K. connections: old friends George McCrae, Timmy Thomas, Paul Lewis and pal reunite at Vision Studios in North Miami

Timmy Thomas is a multiplatinum hitmaker, who has influenced Nelson Mandela, Henry Stone, Metro Boomin, and Drake. And he still wants the world to live together.

This March 26th he’ll sing the most famous question he’s ever asked in a free concert at the Museum Of Contemporary Art in North Miami. “Why Can’t We Live Together?” is as vital as when it first came out on the Glades record label in 1972.

Henry Stone picked up the copyright to the tune for about $75,000 paid the publisher, Noel “King Sporty” Williams. Sporty was a Jamaican music pioneer living in Miami, running his own labels Konduko and Tashamba, and later writing “Buffalo Soldier” with Bob Marley.

Sporty brought the demo tape to Tone Distributors at 495 S.E. 10th Ct in Hialeah, and Stone heard a mono reel of the song, tested it with his South Florida jockeys, and saw a hit. He picked up the rights, pressed and released it regionally, and was on his way to NYC to meet with Atlantic Records to lease them the cut for national distribution, but he decided he’d rather form his own record company and do it himself.

That’s how T.K. Productions was born.

“Why Can’t We Live Together?” wasn’t just a long playing staple of American radio, nightclubs, and college dorm rooms. It became the rallying cry against apartheid in South Africa, and the official induction song for the election of Nelson Mandela as President of his country. To hear the power of that trans-atlantic connection, listen to the Henry Stone Music label’s release of Timmy Thomas Live In Johannesburg.

Today, Timmy Thomas is still one of the nicest guys in the world, and MOCA North Miami welcomes him with open arms to express his creative genius.


March 26: Jazz at MOCA presents soul legend Timmy Thomas and the Overtown Soul Review, with special guest vocalist Cina Jones, in a FREE performance from 8 to 9:15 PM at the Museum of Contemporary Art, 770 NE 125th St., North Miami. “Timmy’s song [‘Why Can’t We Live Together’] resonates now more than ever-ever,” says NPR. For more information visit or call 305-332-2623. Music program is curated by KCC Productions.


Oct 282015

Henry Stone previews the Timmy Thomas interview from a rough cut of the Record Man movie from his Grove Isle headquarters in a penthouse over Biscayne Bay – 2013 – Jake Katel

Drake may be looking for his “Hotline Bling,” but Timmy Thomas is still the king.

Timmy’s historic record “Why Can’t We Live Together” has sold over tens of millions of vinyl copies worldwide, went number three on the pop charts, is be the first hit song to use electric organ with a drum machine, established Henry Stone’s TK Productions as the biggest independent music company in the world, and became South Africa’s anti-apartheid rallying cry, and then Nelson Mandela’s official song for inauguration as president.

Timmy Thomas was born in Evansville, Indiana. He later moved to Memphis, and worked as a school administrator and a session musician for Booker T. & the M.G.’s. A job offer from Florida Memorial College led him to Miami, where he followed his dreams and opened a nightclub in an old Miami Beach hotel on 46th and Collins.

Continue reading »

Oct 202015

The internet is blowing up today with the release of Drake’s “Hotline Bling” music video. But did you know it’s based on a sample from Timmy Thomas’s platinum selling 1972 hit “Why Can’t We Live Together?” on Henry Stone’s Glades Records.


That’s the crucial cut that founded T.K. Productions, which was the parent company for a slew of independent record labels that topped the pop and r&b charts throughout the 70s. As you can see from the above video, Polydor International handled some overseas distribution. Glades Records became a national favorite, with deep soul cuts by artists like Latimore, Little Milton, Clarence Reid, Archie Drells, and Timmy Thomas.

Henry Stone formed the corporation when he found out that Atlantic Records would merge with Warner and Elektra to form WEA and conduct their own distribution.

Click here to read about Timmy Thomas in this interview where he talks about “Why Can’t We Live Together”

Stone was on a plane to New York to lock in the deal with Jerry Wexler at Atlantic Records for national distribution. Instead, he went straight back to Miami and decided to manufacture, market, promote, and distribute it himself instead. He ended up with a million seller on his hands right out of the gate. The song became a #1 chart topper around the world in addition to becoming the official rallying cry for an apartheid free South Africa and later as the official induction song for the election of Nelson Mandela as President.

Timmy Thomas is a legend in the world of music and his simple and heartfelt tribute to peace and love is a classic whose power shall never falter. And that’s why Drake is on it.

Sep 302015

IMG_1068 Allen Grubman(Music Attorney) & Henry Stone

“Sitting one day in my office at Tone Distributors, I received a phone call from Walter Hoffa’s office. Walter was a top New York lawyer at that time who represented the Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and other major acts from Europe. Upon answering my phone call, a young attorney from Hoffa’s office got on the phone and introduced himself to me as Mr Allen Grubman. He said he was representing a group called The Beginning of The End who at the time had a top 5 record (Funky Nassau). It was on the Alston label, which I owned and the record was distributed by Atlantic. Mr Grubman stated that the contract that I had with the group should be broken. At that time I asked mr Grubman if he knew who he was talking to. And told him that the contract that i had was with Atlantic and a very strong contract, and being very angry at this conversation I threatened to get on the next plane and kick his ass.

The phone hung up very quickly and about 10 minutes later I received a phone call from Walter Hoffa, who before becoming a lawyer was promo man for MGM Records. So I had some form of relationship with Walter and he said “What did you do to one of my new attorneys?” And I told him I didn’t like his attitude, he had a snotty New York attitude and didn’t know what he was talking about. By the way the contract was never broken. It was a firm and good contract.

About 4 weeks later I called Walter due to circumstances and major changes in the record industry. The changes being Atlantic, Warner Bros, Elektra were gonna form their own distribution network. Consequently I would lose distribution of my own Alston label, so I decided to do my own manufacturing and distribution.

I wanted Walter and his firm to represent me. He said he would do so and I planned to meet him in New York. I arrived in New York at Laguardia airport and a young smiling Jewish gentleman by the name of Allen Grubman was there to pick me up. Walter had sent him to pick me up. Of course upon meeting him I took to his New York Allen Grubman ways. He drove me to Walter’s office. On the way to Walter’s office he told me he had just gotten out of law school and went knocking on doors on 57th street and was hired by Walter Hoffa’s firm. Not knowing a lot about the music business at the time, and just getting into law from being a school teacher, Allen was eager to get as much knowledge as he could about the music industry. After our initial incident we seemed to have a strong rapport with one another and this was the beginning of a very long business and personal relationship. Walter Hoffa asked me if i would mind if he assigned Allen as my lawyer and I though that was a great idea, because Walter was a very busy attorney. This way I had a young attorney with his full attention on my work.

As in my past performances of hit records, I called Allen at Walter’s office and told him I had a hit record breaking big in South Florida and I’d meet him in New York to try and make a foreign deal because I was gonna distribute this record myself. The record was “Why Cant We Live Together” by Timmy Thomas. I arrived in New York a few days later and with Allen we started negotiating with Polygram Records and we made a deal with Polygram the following day. At the time while I was in New York I had some deals with Morris Levy where Morris owed me some money for some of my publishing. I took Allen by the arm and said “Come with me to Roulette Records, I have to pick up some money.” I think that was Allen’s first experience of meeting Morris Levy. After talking to Morris and negotiating with Morris he agreed to pay me $10,000 in cash for what was owed at the time. Upon walking out of the office Allen said, “What a guy. What a deal.” I handed Allen $1,000 and said, “Here’s your 10% lawyers fee.” The money was for a weird deal with “Mashed Potatoes,” some kind of a ripoff with the “Peppermint Twist” yknow.”


©Jake Katel and HenryStoneMusic Inc. All Rights Reserved

Aug 282015


Check out this classic article from the Henry Stone archives that includes interviews with platinum selling Timmy Thomas, Betty Wright, and Henry Stone too. In the final paragraph of the photo, the quote reads, “Miami is the funk capital of the world.” It was then, it is now, and it always will be. So stay tuned to more hits from Henry Stone Music Inc. and thanks for reading.