Henry Stone on Apollo Records: “It Was Run By Bess and Ike Berman”

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Henry Stone was the biggest independent distributor in Florida from the vinyl to the dawn of the digital age. So he knew the bosses of all the great early indie labels throughout history.

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Here’s what Henry had to say about New York City’s Apollo Records, the label for early greats by Southern soul powerhouse Solomon Burke, as well as Mahalia Jackson and The 5 Royales.

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“Apollo Records were one of the first independents out of New York City. I distributed them. It was one of the first r&b labels in the late 40s and 50s, and it was run by Bess Berman. Bess and Ike Berman.

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They were married but she was the boss. I think they originally had, he just passed away too, oh god, big fat guy, and later on, if I can think of his name, later on, I know when I went to California, he ended up with a limousine service. I remember him calling me. He said, “Anytime you come to California I’ll pick you up in my limo.” He was a big R&B artist who ended up on Atlantic Records, but I think he started on Apollo. Solomon Burke. Yeah he was on Apollo Records originally, way back when they first started, then he ended up with some pretty big hits on Atlantic and ended up having a limo service in LA.”

 

Text ©Jacob Katel and Henry Stone Music USA Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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©HenryStoneMusic USA Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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