“Sam Cooke, number one, was a singer with a group that I distributed called the Spiritual Harmonizers. Actually, I’m sorry, that’s my group [Spiritual Harmonizers]. It just happened to hit me cause I’m workin on em’. I’m re-releasing my old gospel greats. But, Sam Cooke was with The Soul Stirrers. The Soul Stirrers. Sam was the lead singer with the Soul Stirrers, a terrific gospel group. One day I get a call from California from a record company, a small record company, from a guy by the name of Bob Keane from a little label called Keen Records. He’s the guy that discovered Ritchie Valens from “La Bamba.” He calls me up and he says, “Henry, I know you love Sam Cooke. I got a new record of his I want you to distribute for me.” I said ‘fine,’ and I put the fuckin’ record on the radio down here in Miami, shoooo, “You Send Me,” woooow, boooom, boy. I call Bob and I say ‘I need 10,000, nah 13,000 records right away man.’ And I sold em’ all. I put the song on with Butterball, and boom, at that time I controlled the radio down here. Completely, man, black radio. I built relationships with Butterball, Ed Cook, and Jockey Jack, and all those guys. I’d give em’ like $50 or $100 a record.
See, later on when I became big I used to take care of em’ even right up to the man that just retired, over here, from the station here in Miami, Hot105, 99Jamz…Guy named Jerry. Jerry Rushin. Big man. I got Jerry down here from Ft Lauderdale. I got him his job down here.
Anyway, this is the 70’s already, I got him a job through Joe Fisher up in Ft Lauderdale. Jerry Rushin worked up there for him and I got him down here at WFEC, or MBM, I forget which one, one or the other yknow. And that’s how he started his career. Before he became programming director at one of the biggest stations in the country.”
©Jake Katel and HenryStoneMusic USA Inc. All Rights Reserved