Henry Stone Said to Latimore, “Give Me Something Good, I’ll Sell It”

Benny Latimore and Henry Stone, Grove Isle, 2013

Benny Latimore and Henry Stone, Grove Isle, 2013 – Jacob Katel

On May 11, 2017 Latimore will be officially inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame. Here’s what Latimore had to say about how he first started recording for Henry Stone way back in 1960’s Miami.

“Henry Stone said to me, “You give me something good, I’ll sell it.”

He would come through the studio and listen, but he didn’t like to stand over your shoulder. He wanted us to be free to express ourselves musically. And he wanted us to just go for it. He was impressed by you having your personal integrity to make a good product. Write a good song, and then we’ll see what we can do it about selling it.

Our jobs were to give him something good to sell. He didn’t want to go and push a stiff. What he called a stiff was something that didn’t have commercial ability. But he had the feeling to know what was good and what was bad, but the good judgement was based on first having a good product and then knowing how to sell it.

Everybody played his part in those days.

I mean it was something that I remember quite fondly. It was a great time.

I met Henry let’s see way back there at that time when Steve Alaimo was an artist, and Henry was his manager. I’m a keyboard player, and he got me and the guys in the band I was in at the time to play on some of Steve’s stuff. We backed him up on some personal appearances too; and that’s how we got to know Henry.

Henry started using us on different recordings and stuff and then they decided to do a thing on me so that was the way it was, and that’s how I got to know him. Then he recorded me, and from then on we had a great relationship all the way through.”

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