Henry Stone Talks Early Days of Record Business: “The Banks Didn’t Believe”

Henry Stone portrait

Henry Stone, Grove Isle, 2013 – Jake Katel

“The cash always went into growing the business, my record distribution business; and with the inventories growing you neeeded cash all the time. You needed money to grow your business cause see the banks, whatever the reason was, the banks didn’t believe in the record industry.

You couldnt go to the bank like you would to get a car or to get furniture and all that stuff. They didnt, whatever the reason, the banks down here and everywhere around the country didn’t want to get involved. You couldn’t go to a bank and say, i’m talking in the beginning, and get credit for a record company. They’d say “What’s a record?”

They didnt know what a fuckin record was, man…They never heard of a record.

So the banks in the beginning did not believe in such a thing as a record business. Later on as we all became big things changed and them and all the lawyers and accountants got involved.

That’s one of the things that hurt me with the disco is dead thing, hurt me bad, when the bank pulled my 3 million dollar credit line.

I owed them maybe a million dollars or so at the end, but what’s the difference. I had accounts receivable of 10, 15 million dollas yknow, that were owed to me. I never got all of it.

I used to get it all the time as were goin along, rotating, but when the disco is dead thing hit man it hit the fan for everybody. Banks.

My guy would call the banks and say put $500,000 in my account cause we hada pay our bills yknow. Our pressing bills, artists we had to pay royalties and all that stuff…”

  • to be continued


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