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.
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.
“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.
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.
From 1946 to 2014, Henry Stone ruled the Florida music industry with an iron fist, a brick of cash, and a warehouse full of vinyl. HSM is the last of over one hundred record labels he personally founded. This record label includes works from every decade in his sixty-five year career right up until today. Licensing available for film, samples, advertising, movies, video games, and more. Family owned and operated.