Henry Stone and Sugar Hill Records and “Rapper’s Delight”

Soul, funk, and R&B ruled the 1950’s, 60’s, and 70’s, but as that last decade came to a close, Sylvia Robinson discovered a new sound, block party music from the streets of NYC, and she helped propel the genre that became known as Hip Hop, ya don’t stop, up jump the boogie to the boogity beat, to the forefront of the world stage.

It all started when Henry Stone helped Joe and Sylvia Robinson going all the way back to the dynamic duo’s first independent hit as husband and wife, CEO and artist, “Pillow Talk” by “Little Sylvia” Robinson in 1973.

That came togeher when WMBM DJ and “Mashed Potatoes” vocalist King Coleman brought Joe Robinson to Henry Stone to help set him up with the right people.

By the time 1979 came around, Sylvia had witnessed rapping, break dancing, graffiti, and DJ’s scratching, saw the future, and packaged the energy as the Sugarhill Gang. She concocted a beat, put a group together, and had them record “Rapper’s Delight” they way she thought it should sound, and when the initial wave of reactions came through indicating that the song could translate as a national hit, her husband Joe Robinson needed to press a hundred thousand records ten thousand at a time, and Henry Stone helped him do it by vouching for his good name and getting him the credit needed to kickstart the operation through various strategic pressing plants and distributors. As you can see in the above ad, Stone’s Hialeah distribution compound Tone is duly noted in the trade press as one of the original purveyors of the label’s output.






Hialeah, Florida

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