The ruthless force of creativity who helped found Bebop, fought John Lennon, and always got paid is back in the news!
Morris Levy, the greatest gangster in the history of the record business, is finally getting his just recognition in Godfather of the Music Business: Morris Levy (American Made Music Series), a new biography by Richard Carlin for the University Press of Mississippi, a highly regarded publisher with full academic distribution.
The book chronicles Levy’s rise and fall as the impresario of NYC’s Birdland jazz club. He was the founder of Roulette Records, and bagman for the Italian Mafia starting from his days as a street kid hooligan. He died after a harsh indictment by the U.S. Justice System, but before ever going to prison for his gangster ways.
Legend has it that as a teenage runaway, Levy hitchhiked from NYC to Miami to work in the hatcheck and photo concessions at mob owned clubs on Miami Beach.
Henry Stone and Morris Levy were locked up a few miles away from each other in competing orphanages during the Great Depression.
Throughout a long and iconic career as music mogul, Levy’s dealings with Stone ran decades. A few of them, such as their partnership in pioneering electro hip hop label Sunnyview Records are mentioned in the book, as are Levy and Stone’s shaping of the career and downfall of infamous Payola DJ Alan Freed.
Carlin’s carefully researched work, though it also includes more conjecture and opinion than necessary, is going to give students and scholars an excellent perspective on the music business.
Here are some screenshots of the Henry Stone mentions.
This article was written by ©Jacob Katel. 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.