The year was 1951. Henry Stone owned a small distribution company with a warehouse on Flagler street. He got a call from Sam Cooke to come meet him at the Mary Elizabeth Hotel in Overtown.
Stone had been distributing Cooke’s records since he was in traveling gospel group The Soul Stirrers and they had become friends.
Cooke introduced Stone to a young blind cat named Ray Charles who was looking to cut some sides and make some bread. So Henry set up a session and made history with Ray’s second ever professional recording session.
Watch the above video (fast forward to 10 minutes and 49 seconds) to hear Stone tell the story in his own words at the Miami Art Museum: History of Record Making in Miami part 1 panel discussion from 2012.
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. The HSM 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.